Op-ed about "ugly" gun rights message misdirected

(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

I get that not everyone agrees with gun rights. I think they should, obviously, but I’m realistic enough to recognize that there’s no issue everyone will agree on. Hell, there are people who think pedophiles are getting a bad rap, for crying out loud. If we can unite behind the idea that pedophiles are disgusting, there’s no hope of uniting on any issue.

Yet on the subject of the Second Amendment, we see a lot of ugliness.

A friend sent me an op-ed about a woman commenting on some of it, but she kind of missed the mark on who was being ugly.

We started our annual vacation a few days after 19 children and two teachers were shot to death with assault weapons in Texas. Staying in a little village on the beach, we listened to the news of that and subsequent murders. As family members joined us, we were reminded how much we love and appreciate each other, while more victims made headlines.

As we rolled into a nearby seaside town to explore one morning, the first souvenir shop had a beach towel displayed front-and-center: three AR-15 rifles, with COME AND TAKE IT spelled out underneath them.

“Don’t go out of your way to be ugly,” our mother used to say when we were being particularly obnoxious. She didn’t say “obnoxious.” She said ugly. I interpreted this comment as if it were about looks, specifically about how I looked and would be described by my siblings. When we were children, those siblings were conveniently around when anything happened. Large families keep many versions alive of how everyone acted and what everyone did.

What do other residents in this touristy beach town think of the shop owner who put this gun on the front of that business? What kind of a business practice is making light of dead children? Wouldn’t it reflect on the owner’s customers?

Clearly, someone didn’t take their mama’s instructions to heart.

See, I get that not everyone agrees on the subject of gun rights. I can even get that some might be turned off by a pro-gun towel with a pro-gun message on it.

I don’t agree, but again, I can get that it’s just how it is.

What I won’t even remotely try to get is this warped and perverted idea that being pro-gun and displaying a pro-gun message that was probably in place long before Uvalde is somehow “making light of dead children.”

It’s not just insulting, it’s a pathetic attempt at bullying people into accepting a position they don’t actually agree with.

“You support gun rights? Then you support dead kids.”

How many times have we heard that particular mantra? How many variations on that theme, which is what this op-ed really is?

Frankly, the ugliness is in believing that people who disagree with you actually are making light of dead children or are somehow uncaring about what happened in Uvalde.

The truth of the matter is that many would unfurl such a towel and display it not because they’re making light of the murdered children, but because people like the author would use them as a soapbox to try and curtail our right to keep and bear arms, often without any concerns as to whether there are alternatives or not.