Thursday, December 21, 2006

Shoot! Its Christmastime, Y'all!

Yeah, this is supposed to be a classic illustration blog... but sometimes I come across the craziest stuff that, in spite of it not being illustrated, I absolutely have to share with you. This is one of those times.Honestly, when I saw this, I had to double-check the cover to see if I was flipping through National Lampoon instead of Boys' Life.

Sung to the tune of "The Most Wonderful Day of the Year" from the classic Rudolph TV special:

A shotgun for Sally
A rifle for Sue
Let's get little Jimmy
His first .22
'cause Christmastime is heeeeere
The most wonderful day of the yeeeear!

I love the conspiratorial tone of the copywriting in some of these ads. It really speaks to what the agency's market research must have indicated: everybody thinks guns are dangerous - but us good ol' boys know better, don't we! Now we just need to pull a fast one on the Missus and we'll be huntin' us a wild turkey for Christmas dinner, sure as shootin'!
Now before all you gun nuts - er, um, I mean "sports and target shooting enthusiasts" start blasting me with another barrage of accusations of racism and so on, I want to assure you, I respect your right to keep your guns until they pry them from your cold, dead etc, etc.
But really, if you can look at these ads and not find anything remotely amusing about them, then I think you better add one more item to your Christmas wish list: a sense of humour.

Merry Christmas, y'all!


  1. I'm with you there, Neil. A lady near here got plugged recently while out walking in the woods behind her house WEARING HER BRIGHT RED JACKET - HELLO! What deer, bear, coyote or bunny rabbit stands five foot something and wears a bright red jacket?!

  2. I really think you oughta add this ad to your list of really odd rifle-related Christmas ads...

  3. I think this is more a commentary on how weird advertising is, not firearms.

  4. Haha! That is so spot on, henry- you couldn't be more right.

    Even so, I've sat in on enough client meetings to know that brand managers are like cult members - they live the product with a religious ferver - and they are a reflection of their most ardent consumers... I'm talking about any product in general, and guns specifically in this case - so in that sense advertising is scarily representative of the market (or at least a segment of the market).

  5. Anonymous9:43 PM

    I agree with all of you. Why does anyone need to hunt anymore? When we can buy pre-killed food at our local grocery store.

  6. Anonymous11:46 PM

    I'm an old geezer and remember these ads. Back in the 50s gun ownership wasn't frowned upon like it is now, like it or not America grew up with guns and gun ownership-the revolution, western frontier etc. Times were different then.
    Just my 2 cents.

  7. I don't own a gun and have no particular desire to, but I don't consider people who have them "nuts". The vast majority of gun owners use them safely and responsibly.

    I don't think an assumption of moral superiority is in order here.

  8. Anonymous12:43 AM

    Of course there's a reason to assume moral superiority... there always is!

    1) They believe something different, therefore:
    2) They are wrong, and
    3) It's fairly obvious that my/our way is right, therefore
    4) They are deviants or idiots, and thus:
    5) I/we are better than them.

  9. Anonymous2:32 AM

    lol, I remember one Christmas at my grandparents house, and I got... you guessed it, a Daisy BB gun. I was around seven(?) and I was so excited. I could not wait to get home to our farm and start shooting things.

    Then, I saw my grandpa washing his hands in the bathroom with the door open. I pumped the gun with air (no bb's in it) and snuck up behind him and put the barrel of the gun right on his left rear cheek. BANG! My grandpa jumped and grabbed the gun with a wet hand. He didn't say anything, just walked away. I never ever saw that bb gun again! lol. True story.

    I moaned and groaned to my parents, longing for a BB gun. After about one year, guess what, my parents bought me a pellet gun for Christmas. The day after Christmas my next door neighbour and I went out to the barn to shoot a pigeon. We shot the pigeon about 50 times; it wouldn't go down. Feathers would fly and the pigeon would fly to another rafter. We couldn't leave until we had killed the pigeon; it wouldn't be right. My friend and I were almost to the point of crying. Finally, it went down. We took the pigeon into my mom and said, "Cook this up for dinner, this pigeon did not die for nothing"

    We had pigeon for dinner, spitting out some of the pellets which we missed in the cleaning. Never became much of a hunter.


  10. Anonymous2:42 AM

    The use of force, outside of self defense is immoral, as human beings are inviolate. That's a standard I've lived by my entire life though I did not bring it into focus until recently, realizing that even insults are violence. But there's nothing wrong with stalking, hunting, tracking, killing, and eating wild animals. I've been hunting a couple of times, but didn't manage to kill anything. Some day I hope to try again.

  11. Thanks to everyone for your comments.

    To "old geezer"; I guess people started questioning the merit of gun ownership when so many individuals started doing so many stupid things with guns. My two cents.

    john salmon; I would only claim moral superiority to gun NUTS, not all gun owners. Now, you're not going to deny that there are a lot of gun *nuts* in the world, are you...?


    1) yes
    2) exactly
    3) right
    4) correct
    5) bingo!

    To those who were upset by my words (did I touch a nerve? maybe you need to look in the mirror), here's hoping Santa brings you that sense of humour! ;-)

  12. Anonymous7:58 AM

    I grew up in a rural area.

    I knew/know many people who own guns (like, the vast majority of people I know).

    I have only met one "nut" who had a thing for guns. But even he was totally harmless; just a goofball.

    I agree the ads are funny, but I'm sick to death of this ignorant moral superiority over people who own guns. All anecdotal evidence, I know, but whenever I can I take these people out shooting, and in every case the response has been "Oh."

    It's just like the people who go on about the evils of drink or drugs but have never tried them. It's superiority through ignorance.

    A gun is just a tool. It's not magic and it doesn't turn you into a crazed murderer. If you really want to cause some senseless death, don't buy a gun; buy a swimming pool.

  13. Anonymous8:57 AM

    These ads are interesting, as some of them attempt to play off of tongue in cheek humor, or interject a certain degree of sentimentality.

    The modern generation of gun ads aren't as stark. They show the gun being used in it's intended role, or boast about the high standards of the product line. Many handgun ads actually acknowledge that handguns are useful for self defense- something that would've been unthinkable twenty years ago.

    But this is true of most ads. Advertising agencies follow each other like schools of fish, no matter the product. An attempt to single these ads out as a deviation from the norm says more about the modern readers than the vintage ad copy.

  14. Anonymous9:10 AM

    Owned guns prety much all my life.
    Never shot anybody and only hit a few small birds along the way. I don't shoot living things anymore, but I still really really like shooting.

    As for you people who can't understand the hunt.
    You really need to maybe listen to Ted Nugent clue you in on the need to hunt. And be glad there are actually people who DO like to hunt.

    Do you eat any processed meat ? Hamburger, steak, chicken ? If so, your anti-hunting arguements are rather baseless. You've simply removed yourself from the process of how it all goes down.

  15. That may well be, anonymous - to some degree I agree with what you're saying. But to presume the copy was written with only good and benign intent is a bit pollyana-ish. I've worked in advertising for twenty years, I've sat in on strategy sessions and I don't care what product you're talking about, advertising is intended to manipulate the consumer and turn negatives into positives by appealing to a market-researched consumer mentality.

    My specialty has been in kid-based products and I've listened to enough brand managers and agency suits spin the sugar content of a given product into "beneficial energy-boosting ingredient so kids can engage in healthy outdoor activities longer" b.s. to be extremely cynical about the whole "tongue in cheek humour and sentimentality" thing.

    Yes, there is a degree of that but the ad won't run if the agency doesn't believe the copy will convince people to buy the product.

    If anything, today's consumer is better educated about how he is being manipulated than the public was back then. In spite of that, we still have scenarios like the one recently reported in Chicago where children surveyed who had spent time in hospitals that had a MacDonald's believed that MacDonald's food is really quite healthy and good for you, or the incident from a few years back where a kid was suspended for wearing a Coke logo shirt to school on the day the school was taking a group photo to thank Pepsi for contributing a new football field.

  16. Jeez, now we're supposed to take life-lessons from Ted Nugent. I'm done with this topic. Carry on without me.

  17. Anonymous9:35 AM

    Leif - congrats on turning a potentially amusing posting on a crazy ad into an elitist plug. Look in the mirror and hope that Santa brings you a clue.

  18. Speaking of clues and not having one, its always gratifying having insults hurled at me on MY blog by people brave enough to identify themselves as "anonymous". Ok, this time I'm really done. Merry Christmas! ;-)

  19. Anonymous10:46 AM

    I was really inrigued by the wide range of opinions expressed regarding the topic of advertising for firearms. As a former advertising executive and an avid amateur target shooter, I can certainly appreciate both sides of this issue. As lief indicated, the world of advertising is absurdly incestuous, and today's original idea will be cannibalized by the entire industry by tomorrow if it moves product, often with hilarious results. I find it curious that while the tone of these ads and their positioning has changed, the visual imaging used is virtually identical to adverts from the early 20th Century.

    As a shooter, I have learned (and I think this is supported by the opinions of non-shooters shown here) that only those who have had little or no exposure to firearms believe them to be a potential danger unto themselves. 99.9% of gun owners I have known have nothing but the highest level of respect and diligence re: gun safety, in much the same way that 99% automobile owners know that reckless use of potentially lethal technology will result in disaster.

    Those who ridicule hunting must have virtually no education in the amount of research and study involved in the population management of certain species. While it is true that we no longer need to hunt for food, at one time settlers did rely on game as a major food source, and thereby became a primary predator in certain areas. As any first year Bio student could tell you, the removal of a primary predator from the predator/prey web results in overbreeding and overfeeding in prey populations, which in turn results in increased fetal death and starvation due to reduced availabilty of food. By continuing to cull a certain number of males and females from these populations as determined by State Wildlife and Game agenicies and Departments of Natural Resources, hunting ensures that these creatures will maintain steady and healthy population levels. While it may seem crude or barbaric to the untrained eye, a lot of statistical research is performed every year to cultivate and maintain these native species.

  20. Of the four guns in that Remington ad, three are still being made. I ran the old prices through an inflation adjuster and in 2006 the MSRPs are the same or a bit higher than the 1966 prices. The only one not in current production - the Nylon 66 - is historically significant (it was the first commercial plastic gun), and also sells for about the same price at auction, with mint examples fetching three times as much. The boy who got a Remington 40 years ago and was smart enough to hold on to it got a useful tool that is probably still in good working condition, and can be sold for as much as his parents paid.

    40 years from now, will anyone say that about an iPod?

  21. Anonymous12:08 PM

    "john salmon; I would only claim moral superiority to gun NUTS, not all gun owners. Now, you're not going to deny that there are a lot of gun *nuts* in the world, are you...?"

    That's a specious statement. If you're the one deciding whether someone is a "nut" or not, then you get to decide who you're morally superior to. It's a circular line of reasoning.

    Like it or not, guns are a part of American culture. 45% of Democrat households own guns. (Yes, we know. Not the Democrats YOU know. Not the "good" Democrats, right?) There are 300 million firearms in private hands in this country, which is 65% of the world's total, including the firearms in all armies in the world (the US Army only owns about 3 million firearms). We shoot nine billion rounds of ammunition a year. People use guns defensively 2 million times a year to preserve life and limb.

    And it's OK if you don't like guns or you recognize that you're scared of them - as long as you don't vote for those that would restrict them from others, I have no problem with you.

    I'm a vegetarian. I fall well to the liberal side of the political spectrum. I believe in gay marriage and universal preventative healthcare. I'm an agnostic. Yet I own several firearms that would give some politicos facial tics, and I have a concealed carry permit. According to the government, my keeping firearms for self-defense is not a "sporting purpose" and therefore not a legitimate reason to own firearms.

    I note with pride that in Daisy ad, ALL of the family has their fingers off the triggers (Rule #2). Compare this to Hollywood, in which every action hero has their finger on the trigger, with the gun often pointed at their own chin! It's obvious that Hollywood isn't the ones we should be listening to when it comes to gun safety and preventing gun violence, it's the gun culture we should be listening to - they have a MUCH better handle on it!

  22. Anonymous1:28 PM

    jlbraun made some excellent points - don't know how much else there is to say.

    What I will point out is that gun ownership not only instills responsibility in the owner (as irresponsibility tends to result in injury), but it also disperses power amongst the good guys, aka the responsible gun owners. No matter how many laws are passed to restrict gun ownership, criminals, by definition, will break those laws and carry guns. The best control on this behavior isn't to pass more gun laws, it's to allow those who don't break laws to carry guns freely.

    I don't own a gun, but I recognize that gun ownership goes hand in hand with self-preservation, self-defense, freedom and individualism - all the key tenets of the American ideal. It's unfortunate that so many have forgotten that ideal, that of the rugged individual. We could all benefit from moving back towards roles of personal responsibility and away from centralized control by government, religious authorities, or whatever.

  23. Anonymous1:28 PM

    "You really need to maybe listen to Ted Nugent clue you in on the need to hunt."

    Ted Nugent has a clue?! HAHAHAHAHA! The draft dodging hypocrite!

  24. Anonymous4:09 PM

    I'm just glad nobody's made an animated character out of a gun, with round funny eyes, gloved hands, and big tennis shoes.

    because that would be wrong.


  25. Anonymous5:13 PM

    Come on people guns built this country., This year we added 70 million guns and crime rates are going down. As much as you limp wristed leftwingers want to believe it "You won't shoot your eye out!"

  26. Anonymous5:18 PM

    Almost unbelievable.
    Here in Brazil a few months ago we've got a referendum asking about guns phroibition. The great majority decided to keep citizens 'right' to possess fireguns. Well, I'm still trying to figure out if that was a good decision... Here the main argument to buy a gun is to protect yourself (and your family) against urban violence (after all the police here has no great reputation - there's no such a 'protect and serve'). I've heard once that in US another big reason american citizens keep guns is to protect themselves from government agencies. Is there a bit o true in it?

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. Are you people still here? Don't you have lives? Its Christmas for God's sake - go do something festive! Go on, shoo! Go fire your guns or something...

  29. Anonymous7:52 PM

    Obviously, an earlier anonymous doesn't live in an area where he encounters DEER running across the highway at night. That reason alone makes harvesting the excess Bambi's very much worth it - not to mention they're rather tasty!
    Furthermore, I'm clearly one to defend one's Second Amendment rights, not just hunting, but PERSONAL DEFENSE! Before gun grabbers mouth off at me, they best mouth off at the cops first and see how fast those guys and gals behind the badge are willing to give up their arms. I don't think so!!
    To conclude.. I'm NOT discussing apples and oranges here. We The People apply to us all. I'm extremely suspicious of any cop or other official who believes only they should have authority in America to possess and utilize firearms due to an Constitutional Oath they swore (which in government is sometimes not upheld and is literally a different thread altogether) AND I'm equally suspicious of any citizen who believes that only cops or agents should possess or legally use the same.
    Yours Truly, YFL - Your Friendly Libertarian

  30. Anonymous8:22 PM

    I'm saddened by the comments and sarcasm regarding firearms ownership. BB guns are fun, that's all. They're not some sort of identifier for the people that own them as evil incarnate.

    And real guns have their purpose and place as well. My wife and I live out in the sticks, and we keep loaded shotguns on either side of the bed as last ditch defense against... well hopefully never against anything or anyone. But I'd surely feel like an idiot if the day came when I needed to defend my family, and had no tool to use in doing so.

    The anti-gun crowd out there, y'all really do need to grow up and learn that America is (supposed to be) all about respecting the rights of folks you may not agree with.

    Tolerate me, and I'll tolerate you.

    Merry Christmas

  31. Upon reviewing all the comments this post received from the many passionate gun owners out there I decide I should apologize for hurting your feelings with my little attempt at humour. It turns out gun owners are a sensitive lot. How else to explain that so many of you would take the time and make the effort to come to this remote corner of the blogosphere to make your feelings known to a complete stranger who has no credentials of expertise on the subject.

    So to all the anonymous and nearly anonymous commentors who's blood boiled as they read my words, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. I'm sure you are upstanding model citizens - better people than most, in fact, and that I would respect and love you if I only got to know you better.

    I'm grateful that you're out there protecting our freedoms and liberties, defending yourselves, your families, the nation and our way of life as well as controlling the prey populations and connecting with the natural world by keeping the tradition of eating what you killed yourself alive. As one anonymous commentor pointed out, 70 million new guns this year caused the crime rate to go down so, by all means, bring on the guns, more guns for Christmas for everbody!

    This is no time for good folks to be at odds over trivial matters like a difference of opinion so Merry Christmas everyone, and happy shooting! :-)

  32. I highly recommend this article to anyone concerned with food and where industrialized food comes from and the energy it takes to put it on our tables. I'm not a hunter, but after reading this thread, I remembered the conclusion of the article, in which the author sacks an elk. This provided a year's worth of naturally-fed meat and represents not single gallon of burned fossil fuel. With the disgusting state of nutrition and farming these days, I believe these is absolutely a purpose to hunting today. It's not just some people who need an excuse to kill something.

  33. I think what disturbs most people that don’t own firearms is the relationship some gun owners develop towards their weapons – they become fetish objects. I know of few other inanimate objects with such power. I’ve owned several rifles, shotguns, and a couple of handguns in the past but nothing now. I viewed them as specialized tools for an activity that I no longer find pleasurable. It’s how some gun owners ascribe a totemic significance to their firearms that causes many of us to question their true motives.

    Combine the fetishistic nature of firearms with the ultra-conservative, white-male dominated Christianist movement that fears the loss of American identity resulting from both the legal and illegal immigration of primarily non-white and poor third-world peoples. In his book, Sowing the Seeds of Fascism in America, Stan Goff finds an even darker relationship towards firearms among certain less educated, lower-class males.

    “My critique of gun culture is a critique of those sectors for which guns have been combined with imaginary enemies and taken on a deeply symbolic value as tokens of a violent, reactionary masculinity that fantasizes about armed conflict as a means to actualize its paranoid male sexual identity.”

  34. There are lots of obsessions out there. People camp out for video game consoles and movie tickets, they customize economy cars, wear spock ears, write fiction about the secret sexual relations of characters in tv shows, and tattoo the names of their favorite bands into their skin.

    And gun owners are fetishistic?

    Ok, it's possible to fetishize anything. The internet has proved that. As the punch line to the joke goes, "specify breed of goat." But once you take a gun apart - as you must to clean one - it's obviously just pieces of metal and springs. In our warrantee-void-if-seal-broken culture, guns are one of the last products that consumers generally understand as machinery. I see far more awe and wonder from those who fear them than those who use them regularly.

  35. Anonymous3:02 AM


    Sir, I have several critiques of your post.

    First, the range that I go to is in a rural area. I have seen and shot with black people, brown people, women, atheists, agnostics, Hindus, Buddhists, Democrats, Libertarians, lesbians, gays, and Wiccans. I don't recall a single white male Republican Christian coming out to shoot with us. Maybe I'm hanging with the wrong crowd.

    Secondly, I have also found that the only people that fetishize guns... are people like Stan Goff. His critique of the gun culture seems to stem more from his own fears and projections, and it's frankly sad that an academic such as him needs to create an alternate reality of "dark fetishes", "violent, reactionary masculinity", and "paranoid male sexual identity" in order to resolve his own cognitive dissonances about firearms. It's clear the man has some serious issues to work out. His work would be funny if it weren't so sad. :)

    Gun owners lost our collective sense of humor sometime around 1968. To get a little Curious George for a moment, every time someone makes a poke at "gee, look at these backwards illiterate hicks and their guns! How crazy, weird, funny, dangerous and stupid they are! Har har!", it makes us just a little bit more Other, a bit more Those People, and a bit more Weird and Scary, and that intentional division is completely antithetical to the inclusive, cultured, tolerant, and liberal America that I love. Cheap jokes at the expense of others that are Just A Little Bit Different should NEVER leave a True Liberal's mouth, and it's frankly shameful for me as a Liberal to see fellow Liberals engage in shaming and name-calling with respect to gun owners. Wherefore tolerance and understanding?

    So, yes. If you're going to post about firearms, you're likely going to get a posse of gun-owners rumbling in here every time to correct misconceptions, explain the law, point out errors, and perhaps engage in a bit of healthy chest-thumping.

  36. jlbraun (may I call you "jl"?); You can't begin to imagine how grateful I am that you took the time out of your busy holiday schedule to come on back here and give me one last good stern talking to (this will be your last, right? No?)

    Wow... black people, brown people, women, atheists, agnostics, Hindus, Buddhists, Democrats, Libertarians, lesbians, gays, and Wiccans... why you're a veritable United Nations of gun culture! See, I knew I'd come to love and respect you once I got to know you better!

    Now I really do feel shame. Shame on me for poking fun at others who are just a little bit different. I really have been a bad, bad, liberal. I can see now by your example how hurtful and wrong it is to ever make jokes at the expense of others.

    So jl, since you've so thoroughly changed my world view for the better, here's my proposal: the next time I post about guns (and believe me, after watching my daily numbers jump from an average of 300 to a two day total of over 8,000 (!), you can bet your Daisy repeater I'll be posting about guns again) so next time, jl, I'll happily turn the writing chores over to you as my guest gun culture specialist.

    Why not share your wisdom with all the other failed, politically incorrect, intolerant left-wingers out there? I'm sure we could all learn a lot from your sage advice!

    When you come back to read this (and I know you, jl, you'll be back) just include your email address so I can send you the artwork you'll be writing about.

    Merry Christmas, jl, and keep your powder dry!

  37. wow!

    i'm at work, so i took the time to read this entire thread of comments.

    i think that the most intriguing part of it is how quickly this relatively innocuous post turned into an apparently full-on assault on the Second Amendment.

    the most damning thing I've learned about gun owners from this post and its ensuing discussion is that they're ready to leap on the most harmless bit of fun as an attack on their rights.

    yes, as Leif specified (perhaps somewhat facetiously) in his post, he fully supports your right to own guns. starting with john salmon though, posters seem to have decided that their rights are somehow under fire (ha, ha, ha) in this little comedic blog post, and that they NEED TO BE DEFENDED!

    unfortunately, the amendment that allows people to make fun of gun owners comes before the amendment that allows you guys to own guns. so, you keep yours, and we'll keep ours, and maybe grow a little more of a sense of humor.

    because a gun owner who can't laugh at him*herself, is a gun owner that I personally think would be considerably more to use said gun in anger against another human being.

    my .02!

  38. Anonymous9:31 PM

    I started reading this thread considering myself fairly neutral on the issue. At the conclusion I must say the pro-gun group presented a much more well reasoned & calmly stated argument. Honestly, read through the posts and count the number of times the anti-gun side resort to generalizations and belittling. I would have expected the reverse.

  39. "Honestly, read through the posts and count the number of times the anti-gun side resort to generalizations and belittling. I would have expected the reverse."

    Dear "fairly neutral anonymous"; perhaps you were reading another thread, because this particular group of NRA lobbyists directed in their "well reasoned and calmly stated arguments" the following slurs at me:

    "morally superior"

    My entire country (Canada) is "strange" and "needs to grow up"

    "ignorant moral superiority"

    my "argument" is "baseless"

    I - and anyone who is not supportive of gun-culture - am "callous" because I eat processed meat instead of shooting it myself (this one I love - just image 300 million Americans out in what's left of the woods, shooting at random because you can't buy a steak in the supermarket!)

    "elitist" "clueless"


    "making specious statements"

    "limp-wristed left winger"

    "mouthing off", being a "gun-grabber"


    "not a true liberal"

    All this, "neutral anonymous", from a post that was presented as a joke - but where I made a point of boldly including a line to say that I support the rights of gun owners to keep their weapons (yes gun owners, your "tools" are weapons, don't be so afraid to call them what they are).

    I'm just grateful that the vast majority of the 8,000 - plus visitors who came by to read the post (many of them probably gun owners) understood it was a joke and didn't feel obliged to leave long, rambling tirades insulting me for daring to say anything that might be perceived as negative about gun ownership. The tiny clan of mostly anonymous gun nuts paranoid enough to feel they needed to grind me into a pulp proved through their comments to be exactly the type of humourless radicals I was poking fun at in the first place.

    What a shame that they couldn't turn the other cheek, choosing instead to "shoot" their mouths off.

    So, reasonable, calm pro-gun commentors, show me how morally superior you are and don't rise to the challenge - don't add any more comments or hurl any more insults. Allow me to have the last word on my own blog. Go ahead and carry your big "boom stick" - but walk softly. I dare you.

  40. Anonymous12:32 PM

    What did you expect. Gun ownership is a very divisive topic and if you expected to post something "humorous" on the topic, no matter what kind of disclaimer, and not get responses expressing strong opinions you are naive at best.

    Post a similar humorous/dated image on a pro or anti-abortion site, a legalize drug site, a women's rights site showing traditional rolls of women in the 50s, etc., and you will find the same type of response.

    And thank you for your suggestion and for providing this forum, but I will decide when I am through discussion the topic. In the spirit of stifling dissenting opinions, you may decide to delete my post.

  41. Thanks for once again proving me right, "anonymous" (another brave soul who has an opinion but not the balls to leave a real name and email address). I just knew it would take only the slightest poking with a stick to get another baseless overreaction from the kooks in the crowd.

    Don't you get it, "anonymous"? this is not a pro or con gun site so your reference to abortion, women's right or whatever other special interest group you can dream up is pointless.

    This was a tiny jab at gun culture from a remote corner of the blogosphere by someone with no serious anti-gun agenda. I said as much in my initial post. The vast majority of readers understood that. Pro or con gun rights, they came, they read, they left without comment. That's what reasonable people do. The reaction from a handful of kooks was wildly overblown and unwarranted - but did serve to emphasize what the initial post was making fun of: thin-skinned fanatics who will use any forum, no matter how obscure (and believe me, a blog about classic illustration from the 50's that reaches about 300 people a day is pretty obscure) to storm about like a bunch of temper tantrum-throwing babies, refuse to accept my apologies ( ok, they were disingenous apologies but still...)
    and continue to return again and again to vent some more.

    No, "anonymous", I'm not going to delete your remarks. We "true liberals" believe in tolerating the opinions of others, no matter how humourless and paranoid they may be. Besides, I want the people of the "world" (all 300 of them) to see how right I was about you loonie birds.

    *In case you need a clarification, that was me goading you on - let's see if you can resist this time. ;-)

  42. Anonymous5:16 PM

    I agree with you, my analogy of a partisan site on a hot button topic was not a good argument and not the same situation as this site. While I think a site like this on 50s & 60s illustrations with a post on other hot topics like I mentioned could also generate opinionated traffic from both sides, that is not what I said and you're correct in pointing that out.

    The rest though, reads to me like junior high debate club tactics:

    You proclaim yourself correct and state that if anyone responds it confirms what you have said. Seriously. When I stated earlier the pro-gun side had a better reasoned argument it is exactly this type of argument on the level of "I know you are but what am I" that I am referring too.

    Similarly, after you try to illustrate it was the pro-gun side resorting to name calling, and you did a decent job at that too by the way, you then stoop to name calling of "kooks", "fanatics", "tantrum-throwing babies", "loonie birds", and "paranoid". If anyone has proven the other side correct by their replies, I'm afraid it has not been me.

    Lastly, and here I would actually welcome your comments, though I hope you do not respond solely to this point, (and I am not be disingenuous) what is the fixation with an anonymous post having less validity than a post where you "Leif" (or "Paula" or "Henry" etc.) provide a name, zodiac sign, and shoe size. I am not saying your credentials are fake, in fact I do not doubt you are who you say you are, but they in no way make the poster any more or less anonymous. I simply don't get the repeated insinuation that creating a user account in some way shows "bravery". Is there some kind of peril attached to creating a user id that I'm unaware of, that then someone can use my username to call me some kind of "banana fana fo fana" name? Really, outside of the whole pro/anti gun thing I would appreciate an explanation of this. Is it just a form of etiquette or is it simply the easy way to denigrate an opposing view?

    Okay, I know I said "lastly" on the earlier paragraph, but I do also have to add, there is no such thing as "remote corner" of the blogosphere. It is, you know, linked, that is the beauty of it. Personally, and I do hate to resort to cheap shots myself, but I would have thought the word "sphere" kind of made the idea of no corners pretty obvious. But seriously, everyone knows you do not have to be the daily kos or drudge to find a post erupt with traffic.

  43. Ok, "anonymous", you seem like a decent sort of anonymous person so I'll explain my perspective on appropriate blog commentary etiquette:

    Hosting a blog is a bit like holding an open house. Any member of the public can come in and poke around your place, but when they drop by, take a dump on your living room carpet and don't leave a business card, one tends to feel a little violated, and with little recourse.

    In my profile I give you my full name, my email address and a link to my website, where you can find my full address and phone number. This takes some guts, since you have every possible way of connecting to me, whether you are a nice person or not. It also means I am willing to stand behind my words instead of lobbing stink bombs from the bushes. When so called "reasonable" and "calm" commentors come here and overreact to a harmless post that pokes a little fun at the more lunatic fringe element in their special interest group - and do so from the anonymous security of the cheap seats, I lose all respect for those people. They show that they are afraid to have someone come to their house and crap on their carpet - to treat them the way they've treated others.

    I really resent your cheap shot, anonymous, not the one about the blogosphere corner thing, but the crack about "junior high". That's the kind of remark one uses to try to invalidate an oponent's position outright. I have no problem with someone presenting an opposing point of view (and this next part is key, anonymous) *in a forum were such issues are discussed*, but when someone comes here with a "well reasoned and calm argument" in response to what was essentially an article you might find in Mad magazine, then yes, by responding you are proving me right.

    For you and any of the other anony-mouses who still don't get what's going on here, let me give you this analogy:

    I'm a comic fan, but not a comic fanboy. The fat comic store owner on the Simpsons doesn't offend me, because I'm not insecure that others may see me in the same light as that one-dimensional stereotype. Matt Groening won't be getting any "calmly stated arguments" from me about his unfair portrayal of comic fans.

    I love Star Trek - but I'm not a Trekkie. My friends and family laugh at me for preferring a rerun of Next Generation over an episode of Grey's Anatomy. So what? You think I'd launch into "a well-reasoned argument" to prove I'm right and they're wrong?

    This silly little post did exactly what I predicted it would: brought the kooks out of the woodwork. I used those derisive terms in my reply to you because that's who we're talking about. Its funny how certain people read that and automatically assumed I was talking about them. Does that say more about me... or about them...? The vast majority of visitors were secure enough in themselves to walk away.

    So all you anony-mouses lobbing stink bombs from the cheap seats, coming to my open house and crapping on my carpet, your comments don't hold any weight and you'll get no respect here. And spare me your sanctimonious "what did you expect" b.s. - I expected exactly what I got from my 99% (reasonable) visitors, and I expected exactly what I got from the 1% fanatical fringe element.

  44. Anonymous8:40 AM

    Well I do understand better, though do not necessarily agree, with why you seem to give less weight to anonymous posts and insist on first attacking (perhaps to harsh of a word) the poster rather than the post when the poster is anonymous. And before you jump on that look back, it really does seem to me that with anonymous posts you generally first call attention to (and question the cohonas of) the anonymity. And really, that much more so than categorizing something as 'junior high' is a direct attempt at invalidating another's post without addressing the substance of what was said.

    I would think if anonymous posts demand such little respect you would simply disable anonymous posting. To provide the tools to someone to do something and then treat it as a breach of conduct that they used the tools you provide seems odd. In your analogy, when that stranger comes into your house and finds not only a dinner party and the hors d’oeuvres you have provided, but also a roll of toilet paper & a stack of magazines next to the rug in the foyer, he just might take a dump, and strangely he is not entirely to blame.

    In any case, I tried my best not to take any dumps in your living room. Mostly I was just looking for a lively & cordial debate and I think we've had that.

    I will say though as my last thought, conventional wisdom is you should not discuss, or discuss carefully, politics & religion in mixed company. And for many people, guns are both religion and politics.

    So thanks for the discussion and have a happy new year.

  45. Lol, anonymous - I like your extension to my analogy! But tell me... what does it say about the kind of person who comes in with a belaclava over their face, sees the toilet paper next to the rug, and actually pulls down his pants and takes a dump in front of everyone - then runs away...?

    A kook who deserves no respect, perhaps?

    Yes, guns are both religion and politics to some people. We call those people "gun nuts".

    Thanks to you for the lively and cordial exchange, anonymous, and Happy New Year to you too. Should you return again, perhaps you'll finally feel secure enough to reveal your identity and contact information.

  46. Anonymous11:25 AM

    Like Rocky Balboa, 'anonymous' is back with the gun control topic that will not die. Not with more discussion on this blog but a link to an interesting blog on comic books containing a link to an NRA pamphlet done in an admittedly very heavy propaganda format.

    As with this blog I chimed in with my own opinion, a little bit better stated this time I think and a little bit more differential (no poo on the carpet this time). The link is below, take a look and enjoy it for the art if not my opinion piece.

    And to avoid any lack of respect up front, I've given you a name as well, I'm Chuck.

    Wisely, I think the moderator of that site has cut-off any further discussion of the 2nd amendment before things went too far.


  47. Anonymous11:11 AM


    I don't think you realize what you're saying. You (indignantly) post that people are calling you the following, and imply that it is unjustified:

    "elitist" "clueless"

    Have you ever owned a gun? No? Then "clueless" might apply.


    Have you ever made an effort to learn how to shoot firearms? No? Then "uneducated" might apply.

    "making specious statements"

    Did you or did you not say that you would decide who was a "gun nut", and that you felt morally superior to them? Yes? Then that's specious, and it applies.

    "limp-wristed left winger"

    OK, cheap shot.

    "mouthing off", being a "gun-grabber"

    OK, another cheap shot. Taking these lumps is part of being public, leif. Don't get snippy.


    Again, let's return to you "morally superior" post:

    "I would only claim moral superiority to gun NUTS, not all gun owners. Now, you're not going to deny that there are a lot of gun *nuts* in the world, are you...?"

    That doesn't strike me as tolerant.

    "not a true liberal"

    True Liberals tolerate, accept and try to understand those who are different, not make fun of them. Your words:

    "everybody thinks guns are dangerous - but us good ol' boys know better, don't we! Now we just need to pull a fast one on the Missus and we'll be huntin' us a wild turkey for Christmas dinner, sure as shootin'!"

    And I accept your offer to write up the next gun-related one, despite the dim degree of sincerity in which it may have been offered.

  48. It seems somehow entirely appropriate that the landmark 50th post on this topic should go to the One True Liberal, jlbraun. Congratulations, jl - I said you'd be back and you didn't dissapoint me.

    For those who are still reading this blather (and I want you to ask yourself, why?) I contacted jl at the email address he provided with my reply and confirmation that I am indeed sincere about having him write the next gun-related post.

    It won't be for quite some time since we've covered this topic twice already in 2006 but I'm very much looking forward to having jl guest write a post later in 2007.

  49. My name is Lucy and I was Bob Dylan´s inspiration.

    Mr Jinx and Lucy.
    Lucy in the sky of diamonds.
    And Lucía of Joan Manuel Serrat, victim of the same SONY AND EMY COMPANIES.

    Too hard for only one person.

    Happy new year, and as Quarashi said...

    Now it's your type o mad Jinx the mad sucker with a tail.
    I've got my life worked up it ain't as cheap as one thinks.
    I've got links on it, the same internet porn,
    ain't as deep as I've been now I've got Justin in my corner.
    I creep up but they don't want me back in you know my love is so big
    I think my head is cracking, smacking my face and always giving me the
    dead in a days time, give back what's mine.
    This ain't no rhyme about a junky on run another punk with a gun.
    Now when you get it, meet the mad fun.
    So get on your feet and get in pack with the deal
    the beats on the wheel,
    now how do you feel.
    The cool vibe from my lyrical solo
    I beat on your chest when I'm bouncing like yoyo.
    This story is old just like the tales I've told.
    But mark my words it will turn into gold.

    All right, we've got it right all right.
    We've got it right all right.
    We've got it right all right.

    We dig around fanatics, tall and fallen manics
    and the planets breaking down with god the only mechanic around,
    faking firm ground, fucking up the program
    so now I'm working on my devious master plan.
    It's all about these crazy comic relieves you know
    Wooster and Jeeves and modern prophets you never believe,
    we get them all on a boat leave out all the rules,
    the white pigeons, and sail the ship of fools.

    All right, we've got it right all right.
    We've got it right all right.
    We've got it right all right. x3

    The hottest songs from Quarashi

    I am the Commander of the World.
    Leonard go home.
    Gabo Márquez, you stink.
    Serrat and Sabina: take a good dosis cause you are going to die.

  50. anonymous post: sheet!!!


    BUSH IT.

  51. Anonymous1:53 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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