I want to take a minute to explain something that I am starting to become at odds with. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around gun owners here in the US and what makes them tick. This is odd because I myself am a gun(s) owner and have been for many years but after what I saw this weekend I am tempted to sell them all and say screw it to the whole idea of owning guns.
I drove up to West Point, Kentucky last Friday (about 3 hrs. away) to attend and photograph the world’s largest machine gun shoot held biannually at the Knob Creek Gun Range. Now, from all that I read and all that I saw online of this event it looked like it was going to be an amazing place to make portraits and get some really good shots. Well, unfortunately, that is not the case. You see, apparently, if you are a gun owner (especially one with a class 3 license – full auto) you find that someone taking your picture is tantamount to a declaration of war. Every time I raised my camera to shoot someone or even a wide shot, someone started bitching about their right to privacy and how I was invading it. I, in turn would counter with the fact that the same constitution that allows their ignorant asses to own machine guns allows me the freedom of speech and expression. In fact, the 1st amendment covers what I do and the 2nd covers their ass. They of course did not like this train of thought and some ‘punk ass liberal’ using their own argument against them. Needless to say, it was less than amenable to making good photos. Hell, by the end of it I was telling people that I was an agent for the bATF (alcohol, tobacco, and firearms) and that really raised some feathers.
In the end I would say that I am glad I went because if I didn’t I would wonder what I was missing out on and be kicking myself for not being proactive and just going. Unfortunately, I have nothing to show for it except a very muddy truck, a stolen iPhone, and an impending email to some magazines letting them know that I did not get the images I was looking for. Lesson learned.
And now, typical Right Wing rhetoric as expressed on that oh so versatile medium, the bumper sticker…