I must admit, the imagery used for your cover story on conceal and carry has me a little taken aback [“Guns Under Cover: Concealed Carry Permits in Buncombe Jump 400 Percent,” Jan. 17, Xpress]. While I agree that the issue is worth covering, I believe that the imagery used was a poor choice.
Your cover photo, with its fashionable gun-toting female and matching teal Xpress lettering is more than a little inviting. I can only imagine how this glorification of gun fashion is being received by your teen and preteen readers. Even as a person who predominantly describes herself as “anti-gun,” I also felt a sudden urge to purchase such accessories. Thinking, “Wow, I had no idea guns were so cute these days!”
The images inside were not much better (this includes the throng of satisfied white people proudly displaying their ability to shoot a human being in the proper places to kill versus just immobilize).
You stated that there has been a 400 percent increase in the amount of people (that we know of) carrying firearms. If this number is alarming to you — then why use inviting imagery to help increase that number?
— Jessica Ferland
Editors’ response: Thanks for your perspective. The cover’s purpose was not to glorify violence but to encourage awareness. Reporting on or depicting actions is not the same as advocating for them. The article points out that women and minority residents are seeking concealed carry permits in larger numbers than ever before, and the cover image was an attempt to reflect one aspect of the trend.