The fearful mindset

I got the idea yesterday evening for a photo series called “Blue steel and brown liquor,” featuring classic old guns and great booze. I posted one of the photos on our company FB page and was surprised by the instant backlash. Here’s a photo from the series:


Now, what surprised me about the backlash is that people took one look at the photo and immediately said “GUNS AND ALCOHOL DON’T MIX THAT’S A TERRIBLE PHOTO”. I was perplexed by that reaction, because nowhere did we say “hey, let’s get drunk and go shooting,” all we did was post a photo of a blue revolver and some great brown liquor. But people jumped to the conclusion that we’re advocate for drinking and shooting together based on…nothing.

That escalated to people saying things like this photo was “giving ammo to the antis” which finally broke my personal threshold for annoyance, and I started deleting comments. That’s really what prompted this post and its title – the fearful mindset.

I have noticed of late that many pro-gun people are so afraid of “giving ammo to the antis” that anything that isn’t a perfect picture of gun safety is immediately decried as terrible and unhelpful to the cause. It comes from good intentions, because I agree that we shouldn’t post pictures of people doing unsafe things with guns, or doing illegal things with guns, or acting in a threatening or unsafe way. I’ll never post a picture here or on Facebook of a shooter actually firing a gun without ear protection, or someone standing around with their finger on the trigger.

But at the same time, there needs to be a line and an understanding that we shouldn’t live in fear either. I’ll use the example of guns and alcohol because it’s appropriate to this situation. I would never say that you should drink and shoot. I don’t recommend drinking and carrying, just like I wouldn’t recommend drinking and driving. A bad example would be if I posted a photo of someone chugging a beer and open carrying with the caption “looks like a good time.” That would never happen, because it’s a bad example. But I think it’s important to realize that sometimes a picture is just a picture.

We often have a very sheltered mindset in the gun community; we’re so afraid of looking bad to the public that we proactively decry stuff that may not need to be called out as bad. Is a photo of guns and booze contriversial? Of course it is; that’s why I posted it. But it’s also not hurting anyone, and as long as it’s not suggesting that drinking and carrying is acceptable, perhaps we as a community can be upfront about the fact that many of use enjoy guns and brown liquor.


  1. That pic could have been titled “some good things in life” and been completely true, might be hard for folks to get their panties in a twist over that idea.

    Nice heather BTW. I dig the T-Grip.

    1. Unfortunately there are many in society who would and do have a serious issue with what some might call: “some good things in life” not to mention the “and been completely true” line as well. That is part of the issue gun owners face; those who do not believe there is any place for a gun in the hands of anyone that is not LEO or Military. Leaning toward the extreme side, there are those who believe not even LEO should be armed with Firearms on regular patrol, but should be carrying less lethal disabling devices.

      1. Where did you hear that? Is this your own interpretation of something you’ve heard? I’ve never seen or heard anything about disarming the police!

        1. This idea has been around in the minds of some in the Anti arena for decades. Too many needless deaths by trigger happy LEO’s . . . .

          1. It was a founding principle of the “modern” police (read British, which was used as a template for the US and other countries), that they shouldn’t be armed and also to wear Blue and not Red uniforms.

            This was to make it clear that they were a civilian and not a military unit. The paramilitarization of the American police has blurred this boundary so much that many people (including many officers) fail to appreciate that they are just civilians.

            My personnel view is that a policeman on the beat, should only carry what it is legal for other civilians to carry in that locale. Or to spin it the other way around – any weapon a policeman can own and carry, a law abiding civilian should also be entitled to own and carry.

  2. I sure don’t want to let the anti-gun haters set the tone or parameters of my life, whether directly or by proxy through the censure of fearful gun owners. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a tasty beverage after a session of shooting.

  3. I have 0 issue with it… people need to calm the ‘heck’ down, and remember that when we allow the ‘opposition’ to dictate our behavior, we lose….

  4. Recently there as an article about proper Etiquette for Open Carry. In it there was talk about dressing properly to portray a responsible image to those outside the shooting realm, one they could look highly and respectfully upon (no you didn’t say all that so nicely). Seems to me that this picture goes against that thought process. Every picture tells a story as the saying goes and this photo tells many a story that ended in death. Even if the image is titled CLASSICS it’s still the mixing of Firepower with Firewater and it’s not something to be mixed. A seed is planted in a warped mind and grows into a monster we don’t need.

  5. How come there wasn’t a Cigar, or Pouch of Tobacco in the picture too? Is it because smoking is BAD for you?

  6. When you post a picture like this, you should expect to be called out for it. The content is inappropriate in any civilized society (and I’m sure you know this). To write this response to your public shaming is just indignant. I look to your blog for interesting gun info, not childish displays.

      1. The T-Shirt, Flip Flops and Shorts were perfectly legal that the Open Carry person was wearing in the article you wrote too. Bottom line: reminds me of line from TV: Wayne’s World, Caleb’s World; each and everyone of us as our own Ideals of how the world and people in it should be. Things are a changing, but are they for the better?

      2. You can post what ever you like…..I just think that you chose to take the low road on this one. Glorifying guns and alcohol together is what Hollywood does. You are either a provider of cheap controversial entertainment, or a responsible member of the firearms community. I would hope in the future you hold yourself to a higher standard than Hollywood.

      3. Caleb, I think you know exactly what you are trying to do and are doing. Gun advocates are facing a huge low info group of people who are pushing for the repeal of the 2nd amendment. You, not only know,and understand that, yet you cry foul when someone points out the Pandora box that you opened up. Like one comment stated,, and I paraphrase, if you were not trying to be disingenuous, why didnt you include in the photo, a pipe and tobacco and say things we enjoy in life ? But you didnt,so I must conclude that you are being disingenuous. IMO, but other than that its your photo, so do as you will.

  7. Look Caleb, I have absolutely no problem with the photo. I also have no problem with a pop tart chewed into the shape of Idaho, I’m sorry, chewed into the shape of a gun. Sadly, your critics were probably right about you giving ‘ammunition’ to the anti’s. However, that isn’t your fault. We are talking about people that get their panties in a bunch over how a child eats a breakfast pastry, or if they point their finger at another 3rd grader with their thumb ‘cocked back’. Let’s face it, if you so much as represent the idea of a gun, the anti’s jump on it like ravenous wolves. So while the ammunition comment may have been technically true, I doubt you could be avoid giving them ammunition without completely relinquishing your 1st amendment rights! My final thought, who cares what Feinstein thinks!!!

  8. This is an example of one of the more irritating things to come out of gun forums, Internet Gun Safety Fundamentalism.

    A good example of this is /r/guns. For a while, a popular thing to do in the community was to post clips/images from movies or YouTube videos where people were doing gun safety wrong. Then everyone would circlejerk about how OUR PEOPLE in OUR COMMUNITY are very safe gun owners who are 100% committed to the Four Rules and Trigger Discipline and that makes us so much better than the people in the link, who are not OUR PEOPLE.

    This was all typical forums circlejerking, but it lead to a holier-than-thou arms race that resulted in something like religious fundamentalism where the Four Rules must be followed without regard for context. For example, someone posted a video wherein someone muzzle-swept the camera. It was obvious that the gun had been cleared and the camera was on a tripod, and the dude in the video was demonstrating something where it was necessary to see the gun from that angle. However this caused a gigantic shitstorm in the comment section because it *looked like* one of the Four Rules hadn’t been followed exactly to the letter.

    This is a similar situation. People have been posting pictures of guns + fine liquor and cigars for at least as long as I’ve been aware of gun forums online. It’s always been commonly understood that you’re just showing off your fine taste in manly luxury items. However, because you dared mention guns and booze together in the same thought, everyone has to compete to prove how great they are at gun safety by shaming you publicly for your perceived infraction.

    1. This! With bells on. The picture stinks (to me) of adult responsibilty, and the finer things in life. Safety is a mindest, NOT a religion. Cheers- Rusty

  9. Absolutely nothing wrong with this photo! Classic pistol, and was impressed by the bottle of The Glenlivet 18! Quality in shooting and taste!

  10. He’s not drinking WHILE he’s shooting in the picture so no there’s no issue. Anybody that has a problem with this is most likely one of those “pro second amendment” people who don’t think everybody should have 30 round magazines.

  11. I agree completely with your Fearful Mindset. Some of the pro gun crowd walk on eggshells and some carry ARs into Starbucks and some of us just shot/carry and drink afterwards.

  12. There is a gun in the picture. It doesn’t matter what else is in the picture…the anti’s will find something to hyperventilate over it.

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