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Science fiction in Europe. Reality in America.

January 15, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

My Parents Open Carry (2015) by Brian G. Jeffs & Nathan R. Nephew.

A friend of mine sent me this children’s book for Christmas, not as an actual gift but as a oh-my-god-she-needs-to-see-this present. So here I am opening My Parents Open Carry and gasping from the first page to the last. Flaberggasted and appalled are the right adjectives to describe how I felt about this as a reader, as a mother and as a person.

The authors who committed this opus wrote its foreword and it tells everything about it:

This book was written in the hope of providing a basic overview of the right to keep and bear arms as well as the growing practice of the open carry of a hand gun. Our fear is that our children are being raised with a biased view of our constitution and especially in regards to the 2nd Amendment. Before writing this, we looked for pro-gun children’s books and couldn’t find any. Our goal is to provide a wholesome children’s book that reflects the views of the majority of the American people, i.e. that self-defense is a basic natural right and that firearms provide the most efficient means for that defense. We truly hope you will enjoy this book and read and discuss it with your children over and over again.

my_parents_open_carryFollows the edifying day of the Strong family who shops in different stores and tries to convince people that they should carry guns and ends up at the shooting range. Their thirteen years old girl Brenna receives her first gun because she got good grades and it’s her first practice day. (!!)

Apart from being morally condemnable, this book is also poorly written and illustrated. Children’s books are also literature and good ones require a talented writer and a gifted illustrator. No literary or drawing talent of any kind was poured in this book.

The substance? It is full of fallacious arguments, dumb comparisons and syllogisms. Stupidest comparison ever: carrying a gun is like putting on your seatbelt; it’s for your safety and you hope you’ll never need it. Syllogism? Chainsaws are dangerous and yet sold in shops. Guns are dangerous. Therefore, guns may be sold in shops. (!!!)

I assure you this is not April Fools’ Day and that this book actually exists. The comforting part of the foreword is that the authors couldn’t find any pro-gun children’s book. I don’t know if their assumption about the American’s people thinking that self-defense is a basic natural right is true. I hope not.

For me, reading this is like reading science fiction. The whole debate about open carry and conceal carry has no grounds because the carry shouldn’t exist in the first place. The saddest part of it is that these pro-gun advocates/writers live in constant fear. They think they can get robbed or attacked anytime and need to feel ready to fight back. They talk about checking their surroundings all the time. What kind of life is that? Fear is the worst leader to make intelligent decisions. It works with the least evolved part of our brain. Considering the rubbish this children’s book spews from its pages, this very part of the authors’ brain was involved in its conception.

I feel like sending President Obama a box of tissues. He’s not done crying.

  1. January 15, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Eyes have been on Europe, France in particular, with respect to unexpected explosions of violent terrorist acts, and yet in the US, homegrown displays of violent disaffection are swept under the carpet unless, as is so very rarely the case, the perpetrators are brown and Muslim. I am much more anxious being separated from the behemoth US by nothing more than a line in the sand (or through a field or forest) than by any threat posed by the immigrants we have welcomed to Canada. Not that we are immune to xenophobia here, but guns are much more heavily restricted.

    As an American born person I have not entered the land of my birth since the month before 9/11. (Of course with a dollar worth 68-69 cents on the US dollar, my personal political stance has become almost a moot point!)

    Like

    • January 15, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      Despite the horror of the attacks in Paris, the idea of allowing everyone to carry a gun never came to anybody’s mind. Hiring more policemen, yes, but self-defense, no. It’s not in our culture and it’s difficult to understand.

      I remember seeing the film Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore. He explored the fact that there are more deaths by firearms in the US than in other countries, especially compared to Canada. One of his arguments was that fear is instilled in people through low quality TV. (Fow News in particular) People think they are in danger and are tempted to buy guns for protection. That fear is present in this book.

      These pro-gun people are awfully sure of themselves. They think of themselves as 100% reliable. I wouldn’t want to carry such a dangerous thing on me all the time. I’d be afraid to be distracted and leave it unattended, or to accidentally shoot something or someone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. January 16, 2016 at 9:41 am

    It is rather appalling.

    Like

    • January 16, 2016 at 9:49 am

      It is. Fortunately, it seems to be unique in its genre.

      Like

  3. January 16, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Oh my goodness…this doesn’t bear thinking about. I thought of Michael Moore’s Columbine film too as I was reading your billet.

    Like

    • January 16, 2016 at 10:43 am

      I couldn’t believe my eyes when I received it and started to read it.

      Like

  4. January 16, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    I have occasionally commented on Facebook posts by American bloggers who are against gun control. The abuse I received has made me realise it is not worth the bother. Have you seen the BBC article Christmas Cards that Shocked the Web – look at the third one down

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-35128683

    Like

    • January 17, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      Thanks for the link, Tom

      Actually, the three first pictures are very offensive to me.
      The two first ones might have been taken as a joke but they’re still incredibly offensive to women. Deprieving women of their right to speak or objectifying them as whores is more than a bad sense of humour. It means there’s something deeply rooted in these people’s psyche. Why the women agreed to pose for these pictures is beyond me. Women are their own enemies.

      The third one, well…it seems they are the potential readership for My Parents Open Carry. I wish I knew how many copies were sold.

      Like

  5. January 16, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Emma – For the record – ” reflects the views of the majority of the American people” – NOT TRUE.

    I always learn something useful from your newsletter. even if it IS chilling and kind of disgusting like this book.

    On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 10:49 AM, Book Around The Corner wrote:

    > Emma posted: “My Parents Open Carry (2015) by Brian G. Jeffs & Nathan R. > Nephew. A friend of mine sent me this children’s book for Christmas, not as > an actual gift but as a oh-my-god-she-needs-to-see-this present. So here I > am opening My Parents Open Carry and gas” >

    Like

    • January 17, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      I know that’s not the opinion of the majority. But look what’s written on the behalf of this silent majority.

      Thanks for your kind word about my blog. Keep in touch: next post is about prostitution and painting in France from 1850 to 1910.

      Like

  6. January 16, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Thanks for this post Emma.

    I am somewhat immersed in what only can be described as reactionary and irrational American gun culture. This insane book is an example of that.

    One important point that I think is missed, is that there is no political based anti – gun movement here. The so called anti – gun here is very pro – gun and is just anti – open carry, and in favor of very mild regulations.

    Open carry people are now using their guns to intimidate their political opponents in some places.

    Thankfully, I live in New York. We are one of the few states where Open Carry is completely forbidden. We may have the most sane and restrictive gun laws in the country. It is at the point where I would not move to an open carry state.

    Like

    • January 17, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      Brian,

      As you know, extremists will make a text say whatever they want to hear. It’s true for religious texts as the Bible and the Coran but also for the constitution of the USA.

      These guys are from Michigan and I don’t know the laws about guns in that State.

      As I said in my billet, open carry and conceal carry are the same for me. A normal citizen shouldn’t walk around with a gun. I don’t see how people feel safer knowing that there are non-professionals carrying weapons around them. If it were that simple to protect people, why would policemen need special training?

      Like

  7. January 18, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    I saw open carry a few times when travelling the US last year, always in Wal-Mart for some reason. I didn’t feel safer.

    The US is insane on this issue. Of course, many Americans know that perfectly well and are very frustrated by it. I imagine quite a lot of the pro-gun crowd are frustrated with the open carry mob (I can see a world of difference between arguing for a right to own arms subject to rules about how you store them and a right to carry them into Starbucks).

    I doubt the book sold well, and I’m pretty certain nobody will have been persuaded by it either way. I would note though that the people I saw open carrying were all carrying a lot more weight than those in the picture…

    Like

    • January 19, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      In Chicago, I’ve seen signs forbidding people to enter a building with a gun. Then what do people do when they carry their gun and want to enter a place where it’s not allowed? You can’t let it on the sidewalk attached to leash like a dog.

      For me there’s no sensible justification to owning a gun.
      If it’s for your own safety, what’s the use of having a gun at home? If you can’t have it with you, then it’s useless and if it’s useless, why have one? It’s dangerous and inefficient.
      If people start walking around carrying guns, it’s far too dangerous and shouldn’t be allowed.
      Really, I don’t see any valid pro-gun argument.

      Like

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