Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Other Side of the Glass

Let's play a game called "Spot the Idiot with a Gun!"

Go ahead and pick. It could be one, two, all three, or none at all.

Ready to play?

Time's up!

First of all, I don't know any of these people personally. I may have met Col. Jeff Cooper (#1 from left) at Gunsite (I think maybe he was the old man making fun of my Hawaiian CCW shirt at the Gunsite Invitational several years ago). Grace Park, an actress (#2), seems like a nice person. Anonymous Internet Guy (#3) I don't know from Adam...for all I know he has a Ph.D. from Harvard and Medal of Freedom from the President. Or maybe he's a meth-using thug with a mile-long rapsheet.

So, what's the answer? Some bloggers would rush to judge that #3 is an Idiot with a Gun. Of course, "not to humiliate, but to educate." Apparently, humiliation is just a pleasant by-product of the process. Otherwise, why even use the word "idiot?" Number 3 is pointing a gun at himself, and that, of course violates Col. Cooper's Holy Writ:

The Four Rules
1. All firearms are loaded
2. Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy
3. Keep your finger off the trigger unless your sights are on the target
4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it

But, you say, isn't Col. Cooper violating his own rules? The author of the Idiots with Guns meme agrees, but why isn't Jeff Cooper Idiot with a Gun #37? Could it be that humiliation really does take place and the author doesn't want to alienate the entire gunblogger community by flinging poo at the Grand Old Man of All Things Gunny?

And Number 2...why does Xavier stick to apparent amateurs for his feature? Of course, none of you would call Grace an Idiot with a Gun...that's all just a product of the Magic of Hollywood! Nobody ever gets hurt with Hollywood fake guns....

The truth is: THERE ARE NO IDIOTS!

Why? THERE ARE NO GUNS! It's all pixels!

You're looking at a two-dimensional representation of these people and guns/props they once held...but they're on the other side of the glass. If they were in person, you could slap the gun away from Mr. MansonHat, give Coop a loud tsk-tsk (or drop to the ground if you're that high-strung), and double-check with Ms. Park's union equipment wrangler or the prop itself if you had any business being on the set. Or call them Idiots to their faces.

"So, Cowboy Blob, what crawled up your ass?" you might wonder.

Oh, nothing.

Allow me to borrow from another meme (thanks Mr. Codrea!), namely "We're the Only Ones," a jab at the elitists in our society. Are Hollywood producers The Only Ones Magical Enough to depict the business end of a shooter? Admittedly, some of Xavier's subjects appear to be folks displaying little or no gun safety...but how does he know unless he's contacted them directly? Why call them "idiots" when you can just post their pictures and let commenters be as crude as they will be?

I have nothing personal against either Xavier or Countertop, but can't we cut out the namecalling (implied or actual)? There are human beings on the other side of the glass.

Unless you're talking about Sarah Brady/Cindy Sheehan/Hillary Clinton/Chuck Shumer, etc....they're idiots. :)

Update: Oh, Great! Now I'll be responsible when Xavier quits blogging! A pox on me!

I better make this a Carnival of Cordite entry so everybody can hate me!


  • At 11:58 PM, Blogger Countertop said…


    I get - and fully understand - your argument. But for the record, I never asked what crawled up your ass.

    neither did I call anyone an idiot. Well, i called that drunk starlet an idiot but I didn't call Carter an idiot. I simply asked what was wrong with the picture. I left it to my readers to figure it out.

    Really, my only concern was the trigger on the finger, though others certainly seemed more upset by his pointing of the gun sort of at the camera (and, did I not mention that I've recreated similar pictures using tripods and mirrors?).

    As fir Xaviers posts, as he states they are meant to send a message. One of the problems many people have with hollywood is that it presents inaccurate depictions of the truth and glorifies violence while making guns and killing cool without any acknowledgment of proper gun safety.

    I actually had this conversation with my barber today, about the need to re-introduce african american kids to firearms but instead of glamorizing and glorifying them in movies and on MTV as items to use in your quest for power throughout the hood, they need more positive depictions that stress the mundane qualities of gun safety and their use as a tool.

    i think that is the point of Xaviers posts and it certainly was the point of mine. To highlight an error and show how people who hold themselves out to be experts should know better.

    I actually discovered carters picture while speaking to our research fellow at work. He wanted to show me the page for Capitalism Magazine (from the Ayn Rand Institute) and there was a picture of Carter. The RF is straight out of college - fairly conservative, but yet still from the maryland suburbs of DC. His impression was that the picture scared him, reinforced stereotypes of gun owners and would turn people away. My impression was that Carter was not presenting himself as a role model for American's youth.

    Anyway, i do agree with you on Sarah Brady/Cindy Sheehan/Hillary Clinton/Chuck Shumer, etc....they're idiots.

  • At 12:49 AM, Blogger Cowboy Blob said…

    No, that wasn't directed at you, but by that time in the post, any
    reader could tell something was up there.

    I know you didn't call *me* or Carter an idiot, but you used the same
    format as Xavier...leaving unsaid that the same thing applied to me,
    Ogre, and anyone else who staged a photo like that.

    I'll dig up some some pictures of fluffy bunnies and puppies for your
    RF's enjoyment.

    My beef with Xavier is that he calls people he's never met "idiots"
    then claims humiliation doesn't enter in to it. What's more humiliating
    than having your picture pasted all over the internet with the label
    "Idiot" on it?

    Oh, great! Now Xavier is trying to make me feel like a heel as he
    plays the "I'll quit blogging" card."

    He's a husband...and a father...and a nurse, ya know.

  • At 10:32 AM, Blogger Countertop said… defines an idiot as a foolish or stupid person.

    My beef with Xavier is that he calls people he's never met "idiots"
    then claims humiliation doesn't enter in to it.

    As Forest Gump would say, "Mama always said idiot is what idiot does."

    Just because he hasn't met these people doesn't mean they aren't doing something foolish. Xavier's posts, for the most part, highlight people who aren't just simply taking a picture of someone holding a gun but usually are putting said gun in their mouths, or next to their temple, or on a friends head.

    This is quite different than the picture I posted or the pictures of the Mad Ogre or Col. Cooper that you posted. As for guy #3 that you posted, well, based upon his pose I would say he is being an idiot.

    Now, that doesn't mean in real life he is mentally handicapped (though it doesn't mean he isn't either) only that his actions at the time the picture was taking were foolish and idiotic. Hence the title - idiot with a gun.

    I'm sure there are plenty of pictures of me, taken when I was in high school or college, that are rightfully classified as idiotic (none, btw, invovling guns). None of them mean I am always and forever an idiot, but rather at that moment in time when said picture was taken I was doing something idiotic.

    As faor as pasting the picture all over the internet . . . well, they put it up themselves, didn't they? (and, fwiw, I've taken down the link to my picture even though I don't still look like that - it was taken year ago - and my face is covered). You saw it, so I made my point.)

  • At 10:36 AM, Blogger Countertop said…

    eeer, actually, I decided not to take it down. I just reduced its size.

  • At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I would not automatically call anyone who points a firearm at a camera an idiot.

    It's your camera ... if you want to put it at risk for a specific purpose, then that is your decision ... people shoot really close to chronographs and such all the time.

    Pointing one at a cameraman is an entirely different matter.

  • At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This guy must have been one of Xavier's "Idiots with Guns". He sounds a little defensive.

  • At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, anonymous...profound! Or perhaps it's something else, such as outlined in the post?

    I've commented to Xavier in the past, in cases where it's obvious (to me) that the IWG in question has an airsoft pistol (what's more contrary to the 4 Rules than airsoft/paintball?). I've commented on others where you can see the HP's peeking out and the finger's on the trigger. It's situational. Some of them may be idiots, others not so much.

    The Four Rules are not as absolute as some of us make them out to be. Cooper himself, in his "Commentaries", has remarked that they are a series of redundancies. When one is broken, nothing is lost, yet when several are broken at once, there is an ND and possibly much, much worse. Indeed, if they were absolutes, then every concealed weapon and every defensive shooting is in violation. Whos concerned about whats behind the goblin when your life is on the line? Rule #4, right.

    I've posted pictures before of myself in staged scenes, sometimes even firing a weapon past a timed camera on a tripod - that doesn't make me an idiot, it just means I have more than one digital camera. I think what CB is getting at is that (even among The Only Ones) staged photos can be taken out of context and look very bad, yet when the circumstances are known, there is no "idiot" to be found.

  • At 8:19 PM, Blogger Chris said…

    Ah "Above and Beyond," one of the finest Sci-Fi TV shows ever to get canx'd.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Visits Since September 11, 2004