Letter: Cover photo glorified gun fashion

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?

Concerned mother,

— 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.

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28 thoughts on “Letter: Cover photo glorified gun fashion

  1. jason

    I think most people would be surprised how many people carry guns on any given day. They are everywhere…grocery store, mall, restaurants…not to mention how many folks just keep a “truck gun” in their vehicle. Guns aren’t going anywhere.

    • luther blissett

      “I think most people would be surprised how many people carry guns on any given day. ”

      Fewer Americans own guns than at any point since records were kept, but the ones who do own more guns and are more inclined to take their collections out for walks.

      Since guns aren’t going anywhere, I’m sure you’ll support increased scrutiny to ensure that concealed carriers have the appropriate permits (especially for “truck guns”) and aren’t intoxicated.

      • john schwartz

        “Fewer Americans own guns than at any point since records were kept”
        Hogwash. The number of first time gun owners is growing by leaps and bounds, including women and minority’s.

      • Sailorcurt

        Strangely, the anti-gun crowd simultaneously bemoans the fact that without any kind of gun registration or consolidated records, it’s impossible to know who owns guns AND that they know that gun ownership is declining…depending on whichever diametrically opposed assertion suits whatever specious argument they happen to be making at the time.

        • Phillip Williams

          Sailorcurt – I have noticed the same thing with regard to other issues. Many of the same folks harp incessantly about the “tyranny of the majority” yet also want to do away with the Electoral College so a raw, numerical majority can elect the US President – which would be dandy until the majority picked one they didn’t like. Conversely, if the EC hadn’t picked Mr. Trump (I personally thought Ms. Clinton would win the Electoral vote), then the EC would have been the best thing since they started putting pockets on shirts! Some folks just have to have it both ways….

          • The Real World

            Oh good grief, yes. On and on they shriek, accuse, emote, protest, ignore facts and reality, insist on different standards for others than they hold themselves to, cover-up, obfuscate — just for starters.

            However, 2018 is shaping up to be a year of comeuppance. The exposure of malfeasance at high levels is already occurring and if laws are enforced, there should be a string of prominent indictments at the federal level. If so, one would HOPE that plenty of people do some serious soul-searching about their true values.

    • Phillip Williams

      Used to keep one in my Jeep when I was in high school – usually a 22 rifle or a 12ga shotgun (and a fishing pole) was “de rigueur” for the discriminating teenage boy, because most of us headed skrait for the woods when school let out. I hope this interesting link posts – just to show I ain’t lying about the way it used to be…. this was taken in 1981 and I am the lad in the center with the old “flat ‘at” helmet and fully operational Lee-Enfield rifle on my shoulder and a .455 Webley revolver hanging from my belt – this was a living history presentation in a 9th grade classroom….. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153797281934720&set=a.156070389719.111721.501594719&type=3&theater

      • Lulz

        Friend of mine brought a Colt .45 to show and tell in the 5th grade at Ira B Jones. And I remember target shooting at the indoor range at Asheville High. Also remember a wildlife officer teaching gun safety to the entire class at south French Broad.

        • Phillip Williams

          I know over in Haywood County the gun/hunting safety class was incorporated into the PE and Health curriculum – this was for at least 2 years because I took it in the 7th and 8th grades – I want to say a NC Game Warden taught it and it lasted for several days and everyone had to take it. I also was in the rifle team for 4 years in JROTC – we had a small target range off the practice ball field up at Pisgah High and had 10 nice target rifles locked in the supply room – the year after I graduated, they started giving an athletic letter for rifle team!

      • Sailorcurt

        Up until the mid to late ’60s, New York kids used to carry their rifles on the subway to compete on their school’s shooting teams.

  2. Nate

    Maybe Jessica should educate herself. She might find she likes the idea of being able to protect herself and her family if the unlikely happens.

  3. Geoff

    Liberal Snowflake is frightened by a PICTURE of a gun. What would Jessica do if she saw a REAL gun? Faint?
    Whenever I shop in North Carolina I open carry. Because I can’t here in South Carolina and your Sales Tax is lower.

  4. Bright

    Ms. Ferland is accurate. Ms. Ferland is also going to be rudely awakened to learn that most people are minimally intelligent and have lost the ability to value life (animal and human). They have come so far from a basic understanding of decency that they cannot even have it explained to them, much less put it in action. Yes, we all have to protect ourselves but we don’t have to enjoy it and pay money to see it. I apologize, Ms. Ferland, for us all. Protect yourself emotionally, and stay safe.

  5. Mike

    I don’t understand the point of this concerned woman. First off, progressives always taught they want common sense gun laws…they training requirements, registration and no scary ‘AR” rifles. Well, the permits to carry ensure the citizen has been trained, background checked and registered in a system So why is this woman still concerned? Is she offended with women defending themselves and the only equalizer is their right to bear arms in self defense. Also, CCW holders have an almost 0% conviction rate which is numerous times lower than police. Studies have shown them to be more responsible citizens and more important, defensive use of guns is well over 200,000X per year. Self defense is a right

    • luther blissett

      “Also, CCW holders have an almost 0% conviction rate which is numerous times lower than police.”

      Either you believe that nobody ever drinks a sip of beer while carrying concealed, or CCW laws aren’t being enforced.

      • IndyRoadie

        You do know that many states don’t prohibit guns in bars, nor having a “sip” while carrying, yes?

        • luther blissett

          You do know that Mountain Xpress is a North Carolina publication, and North Carolina state law says this, yes?

          “It shall be unlawful for a person, with or without a permit, to carry a concealed handgun while consuming alcohol or at any time while the person has remaining in the person’s body any alcohol or in the person’s blood a controlled substance previously consumed, but a person does not violate this condition if a controlled substance in the person’s blood was lawfully obtained and taken in therapeutically appropriate amounts or if the person is on the person’s own property.”

      • Sailorcurt

        “Either you believe that nobody ever drinks a sip of beer while carrying concealed, or CCW laws aren’t being enforced.”

        That’s a logical fallacy known as a straw man. The OP mentioned that permit holders have an extraordinarily low rate of conviction. You argued against a point he didn’t make.

        You are making the accusation that concealed carriers routinely break the law. Do you have any proof? Just because you make assumptions (likely due to projection of your own proclivities onto others) don’t make those assumptions a valid foundation for, well, anything other than your own biases.

        • luther blissett

          “You are making the accusation that concealed carriers routinely break the law.”

          No, sorry you flunked your logical fallacies 101 term paper, but I’m not. I’m making the point that a) there are very strict state laws about concealed carry under the influence; b) there are very few convictions or permits rescinded for breaching those laws; c) most adults drink. So either every concealed permit holder is sober as a judge in public spaces, or the laws aren’t being enforced anything like DUI and we have no idea what the prevalence would be if they were enforced. Enjoy the random gun/2A forum that posted the link here.

    • Phillip Williams

      Out of curiosity, I wonder how many crimes have actually been committed by NRA members or by folks with a concealed carry permit? I ask because I truly don’t know and cannot find any data regarding NRA members….every site I checked says such a figure cannot be found “because there are no government records of NRA membership.” One site regarding crimes committed by CCP holders in Texas states a figure of .70/100,000 for the years 1996-2011 (and yes, the decimal point is in the right place – although this figure admittedly came from a TX shooting sports newsletter).

    • Peter Robbins

      And don’t feel that you have to read the article underneath the picture. Wouldn’t want to confuse anyone.

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