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Tue, Feb. 5th, 2013, 01:32 am
Guns as phallic symbols?

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

The favorite trope of the prohibitionists is that guns are penis substitutes and thus should be banned. While plenty of serious rebuttals to this silly notion exist, let’s humor them for a moment and assume that guns are used to compensate for sexual inadequacy. If compensating for sexual inadequacy is somehow evil, why aren’t they also calling for a ban on Viagra and dildos?

It would be the most common fetish in the country — shared by such a great percentage of the population that it can be considered a norm. If it isn’t the norm despite the extremely high incidence, then gun owners should be considered a minority and treated with the same consideration accorded to GLBTs, ethnic minorities and other traditional underdogs.

We know that guns are tools and they are no more sexually related than cordless drills or zoom lenses for cameras. But the frequency with which Markley’s Law comes up in the anti-gun arguments makes me wonder if they are hiding some nasty fetishes of their own. Some doth protest too much! It’s no surprise that actual fetish photos showing firearms usually display ignorance of safety rules and proper handling, indicating that those who produce them aren’t gun people.

Tue, Feb. 5th, 2013 01:00 pm (UTC)

I love your pictures, but your words are giving me a headache because they are not making sense.

Compensation for sexual inadequacy has nothing to do with fetishes. A dildo and Viagra may be used as phallus substitutes and phallus enhancers respectively, but these objects are not things on public display to convey dominance to others. A better analogy for a gun would be a sports car. Both guns and sports cars are sold using ads that include scantily clad women. Both guns and sports cars can be displayed for others.

With that in consideration, the picture you have created here is not displaying any of that. The woman is wearing adequate clothing and carrying a gun for herself. It is a little odd because she is both holding a gun and sitting with her legs crossed. Is she about to use the gun or put it away?

It does not promote the idea of manly men and womanly women. You have also attempted to be inclusive of LGBT people in your photography.

Tue, Feb. 5th, 2013 04:23 pm (UTC)

The photo above wasn't meant to show a fetish -- on the contrary, it showed a mainstream reason for owning guns that refutes the fetish claim.

Tue, Feb. 5th, 2013 05:45 pm (UTC)

I know that the picture above intended to refute that claim. Your pictures typically show a broad range of people with guns and made me (a person who is generally afraid of guns) more supportive of gun rights. However, you have a broad body of work, and some of them involve scantily clad women with guns. Those pictures are designed to appeal to heterosexual men as opposed to women or gay men.

I am easily swayed on the topic of guns. If I listen to a lot of people who are pro-gun, I am more pro-gun. If I listen to a lot of people who are anti-gun, I am more anti-gun.

I was trying to give you a better comparison than the one you were working with to see if you could develop a better argument than the one you were making.

Tue, Feb. 5th, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)

There's a difference between making an argument, and refuting a false claim.

Others have argued that "gun = penis," and Mr. Volk is refuting that claim by pointing out that, even if true, the proposed response ("take away all the guns") is not in line with that belief, so those making it are obviously being dishonest in one of the other.

Tue, Feb. 5th, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC)

This is a caricature of the opposition instead of a reasonable impression of the opposition.

No one is arguing that the gun is a penis. People are arguing that men are expressing machismo with guns as they do with sports cars.

The position of taking away all the guns is not mainstream. The position of creating limits to what type of weapons people have is.

Arguments against a straw man are not going to appeal to anyone who does not support your position already.

Tue, Feb. 5th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)

Actually, if you follow the links in Mr. Volk's article, you'll find that many folks are claiming that guns are literally being used as penis substitutes.

And a "limit on what type of weapon" is, as those who have proposed such things admit publicly, intended for the purpose of allowing and encouraging total disarmament.

Wed, Feb. 6th, 2013 03:55 am (UTC)

And, paraphrasing someone (L. Neil Smith, maybe?) "Who is sicker, the one wanting to compensate for a minimal equipment, or the person who want's to cut everyone's dick off?"

Wed, Feb. 6th, 2013 01:23 pm (UTC)

Mike Williamson said something like that in one of his books. But it's a common sentiment, going back decades (probably to a few minutes after the first idiot uttered the gun=penis comparison), so it's probably been said by many.

Wed, Feb. 6th, 2013 05:16 am (UTC)

yeah and I really loved that slack jawed moron Jesse Jackson's claim that these guns can be used to shoot down airplanes. He's said it REPEATEDLY, in interviews lately. Dear lord would someone make him stop? Listening to such gross abject stupidity like that HURTS!

Wed, Feb. 6th, 2013 01:24 pm (UTC)

Well, they can. If we're talking about naval guns, anyway...

Tue, Feb. 5th, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)

I personally like the photo as a stand alone. Then again, I am a woman, and I am so fed up with the argument that the world would be a safer place with fewer firearms.

Tue, Feb. 5th, 2013 11:48 pm (UTC)
Chas No

Okay, it's an AK, which means that it's reliable. However, it has no bayonet lug, it has a violent action that does not lend itself to accuracy, and, if it's a first generation 7.62, then it's not as effective as a modern caliber, like the 5.56. Okay as a self-defense rifle, but not as good as more modern rifles. Of course, everything we're talking about has just been banned for the people in New York State.

Wed, Feb. 6th, 2013 12:15 am (UTC)

Rifle shown is in .223 and is about 3MOA with iron sights -- quite respectable for defense.

Wed, Feb. 6th, 2013 12:31 am (UTC)

7.62x39mm is substantially more powerful than 5.56x45mm, and they are of roughly-contemporary vintage. Neither is particularly "modern." At close range, the 7.62x39 is distinctly more effective than the 5.56x45mm, which is optimized for ranges that exceed normal combat engagement range in modern warfare.

Neither can hold a candle to modern cartridges, which are generally between the two in size, to balance trajectory and power.