Christmas cards with guns deliver more than shock

Jordan Reid is the founding editor of Ramshackle Glam.
Liberal Opinion

Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam
Archive |

Yes, the holiday season is behind us, but we’re still living with the damage from Christmas cards with all the guns. Did you see those right-wing representatives and their families posing in front of Christmas trees, all holding guns?  And we’re not just talking about hand guns. They were grinning ear to ear with giant assault rifles in hand. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) each showed off a virtual armory. One of Boebert’s children looks not much older than six in the photo.

The lack of empathy is stunning. These images showed up in the days following the school shooting in Oxford, Michigan, where a 15-year-old boy is accused of shooting and killing four classmates with a gun allegedly purchased for him by his parents. And Boebert is a representative of the state where the Columbine school shooting took place.

This right-wing obsession with guns also played out in a campaign ad for Colorado State Rep. Ron Hanks, who literally shoots an assault rifle at a photocopy machine he presents as a Dominion Voting machine.

So, what’s all this gun-toting about? It seems to me that it’s the right-wing take on virtue signaling where they’re using these guns as symbols to indicate alignment with the conservative ideology without ever getting into the specifics of their vision or their plans for their constituents that aren’t billionaires.  

You know it used to be that Republicans and Democrats could agree on some issues – say, gun control – while also disagreeing on others – say, abortion rights. But these days it seems like fewer and fewer politicians are willing to acquiesce on any element of an opponent’s belief structure. It’s not about nuance anymore – it’s saying you are with us and with everything we stand for, or you are against us. 

And that is what the symbolism of the gun is all about. It’s an attention-grabbing, provocative visual that’s guaranteed to fire up the left while also creating an even more tighter-knit clannishness on the right. 

Posing with a gun screams, “This is who I am. This is who I stand for.”

And not just having to do with guns, but having to do with the entirety of the right-wing ideology. 

It’s a shorthand, and it’s dangerous not just for the obvious reasons but also for more insidious ones…because it’s this kind of shorthand that allows us to skip over the part of the voting process where we actually learn about our candidates – their beliefs, their values, their approach to governance, and the ways that their choices affect us, their constituents, in real time.  

And when you think about all of this in that larger context, you realize that the gun as a symbol being used by these representatives is a really tangible way to create real lasting damage.

I know we’re a ways out from the holiday season, but here’s something that’s been on my mind ever since: all the Guns. On Christmas cards. What could possibly be more in alignment with the birth of Jesus Christ than a small child holding an assault rifle? 

Various right-wing representatives including Kentucky representative Thomas Massie and Colorado representative Lauren Boebert posted photos on social media showcasing them and their families – including very small children – with a virtual armory. I mean how old is this child in Lauren Boebert’s photo? Six?

And all of this, please remember, took place in the days following the Oxford, Michigan school shooting in which a 15-year-old boy is accused of shooting and killing four classmates with a gun that had been allegedly purchased for him by his parents.

The lack of empathy for the Oxford school shooting victims – and others, of course; please remember that Boebert is a representative of the state where Columbine took place – is frankly stunning, but it’s also…confusing. 

What is the point they’re trying to make here? “You can’t take our guns?” 

There are more guns in the United States right now than ever before in history. Even those who are advocating for tougher gun laws – so as, for example, to prevent suicidal teens with a propensity toward violence from getting their hands on them –  even those people advocating for tougher gun laws they’re not saying they actually want guns outlawed, or taken away from people with licenses who have been trained in properly safety measures. 

Take also the campaign ad for State Representative Ron Hanks, in which he literally points an assault rifle at a Dominion Voting machine that’s actually a photocopy machine.  You have to see it for yourself.  Take a look.

“I’m Ron Hanks, and I’m running for the United States Senate.  I’m Ron Hanks, and I approved this message.”

Cool. So, what’s all this gun-toting about? It seems to me that it’s the right-wing take on virtue signaling where they’re using these guns as symbols to indicate alignment with the conservative ideology without ever getting into the specifics of their vision or their plans for their constituents that aren’t billionaires.  

You know it used to be that Republicans and Democrats could agree on some issues – say, gun control – while also disagreeing on others – say abortion rights. But these days it seems like fewer and fewer politicians are willing to acquiesce on any element of an opponent’s belief structure. It’s not about nuance anymore – It’s saying you are with us and with everything we stand for, or you are against us. 

And that is what the symbolism of the gun is all about. It’s an attention-grabbing, provocative visual that’s guaranteed to fire up the left while also creating an even more tighter-knit clannishness on the right. 

Posing with a gun screams “This is who I am, this is who I stand for” – and not just having to do with guns, but having to do with the entirety of the right-wing ideology. 

It’s a shorthand, and it’s dangerous not just for the obvious reasons but also for more insidious ones… because it’s this kind of shorthand that allows us to skip over the part of the voting process where we actually learn about our candidates – their believes, their values, their approach to governance, and the ways that their choices affect us, their constituents, in real time.  

And when you think about all of this in that larger context, you realize that the gun as a symbol being used by these representatives is a really tangible way to create real lasting damage.

 


Get unbiased straight facts, context, and perspective!