Letter: Glamorizing guns is inappropriate



I am uncomfortable with the cover image that you selected for this week’s Current in Carmel, as I feel that this particular photograph glamorizes guns in a way that is inappropriate, particularly when there is so much gun-related violence in our society.

I do appreciate Guy Relford’s advocacy for firearm safety, but given that one of the tenets of gun safety is never to point a weapon at anyone unless you intend to shoot them, why on earth does your photo portray a gun pointed at the reader?

Erin Vahrenkamp, Carmel



  1. Richard Jones on

    Wow. A picture of a man holding a firearm in a shooting stance “glamorizes” guns? And as pointed out it is not aimed at the camera (who knows if a person is holding the camer) but off to the side. I also don’t understand how a picture of any gun pointed directly into a camera can be uncomfortable. To my knowledge there’s never been a gun incident caused by a picture.

  2. That gun isn’t pointed at me, he’s aiming for the bad guy behind me. Get over yourself, it’s just a picture.

  3. I can assure you with 100% certainty that no one, and I mean no one, has ever been shot by a picture of a gun pointing at you from a newspaper, it’s just never happened. Also, the correct rule is never point a gun at anything you are unwilling to kill or destroy UNLESS you have personally VERIFIED that the gun is empty and therefor in a safe condition. I would imagine the angle of this photo was predetermined by the photographer and both the person holding the gun and the photographer VERIFIED that the gu. Was in an empty safe condition. Oherwise Mr. Vahrenkamp, please understand that the media do glamorize guns in order to get uneducated opinions like yours to be against guns. Nice try though….

  4. Well, first off, newspapers and magazines are not here to make you “comfortable”. News is often uncomfortable. Seen any video of buildings on fire or blowing up on TV lately? You are probably fine with that.
    Second, rule number two of gun handling is NOT; “never to point a weapon at anyone unless you intend to shoot them”! The rule is: “never let the muzzle cover anything you are not prepared to destroy”. It can also be worded: “prepared to put a large hole in”, without losing the meaning. The wording here distorts the meaning entirely.
    The only thing shown here is that the man in the picture is willing to put a hole in his <20.00 webcam. But only if the gun is loaded. IF he has previously unloaded it and not let it leave his hand since, then even that does not apply.

  5. See, these other folks are kindly trying to explain to you how you are wrong and really misguided. Now, I could do the same but I know that whatever I do or say would just be an act in futility so I will go low brow and name you for what you are, a moron. As one old man said to another old man in a movie, and the quote may not be entirely correct but do the world a favor, pull you bottom lip up over your head and swallow.

  6. Hey! I’ve got a Rolex just like that one! Is that a Wilson Combat you’re holding? I’m not worried about where the pistol is pointed but wearing such a watch while shooting, err, posing for such a “shot” (Hah!), is irresponsible! I also think this photo would be much more glamorous if Mr. Relford was wearing a tux.

  7. Bravo, Erin, you bring up a great point about how we address various issues surrounding the presentation of firearms. Pointing a rifle at and taking aim at the reader (regardless of where the reader is positioned while holding the cover) is just that – confronting the reader head on. Either the intention was to scare/provoke/shock the reader by placing them at the receiving end of the barrel or someone is unaware of/unconcerned about how this image could be depicting the exact image they are trying to prevent (firearm safety). Presenting this image without any other info: again is this image intended for illustrating safety or commenting on the prevalence of gun violence in terrorism/police brutality or just trying to be in your face edgy?
    Incidentally, don’t let anyone on here, and in real life, try to trip you up by veering off course from addressing your actual question – deflection is the game of cowards. And those that are merely using your post to put you in your place as a woman addressing a point of view that differs from their own is not looking for an actual dialogue but a pedestal to denounce and lecture from. Take care and stay strong, Erin. I hear what you are saying and your point of view is completely valid.

  8. As a strong supporter of the second amendment, a responsible gun owner, and a man, I must say I am embarrassed by the tone of the responses to Ms. Vahrenkamp’s letter. While I may disagree with her on some fundamental issues, I respect her for expressing herself in a thoughtful manner without resorting to ignorant personal attacks.

  9. Patricia Marco Rettig on

    Agree with you, Erin. Thank you for your letter. A poor judgement to be sure, particularly if the point of this article was gun safety. A better image would have been putting a gun lock on the weapon. The image itself may not physically damage, but it certainly sends a message — and the message is not safety.

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