It’s not often that a children’s book can heat up political discussions to near incendiary levels. But My Parents Open Carry has done just that.
The book cover features a blonde family with guns hanging on their belt in full view. It's currently a bestseller on Amazon.com in the Children’s Government Books category. After failing to come across any pro-gun books for kids, the authors decided to fill the gap with one of their own. According to the website, the book tells a story of an average family:
“Come join 13-year-old Brenna Strong, along with her mom, Bea, and her dad, Richard, as they spend a typical Saturday running errands and having fun together. What’s not so typical is that Brenna’s parents lawfully open carry handguns for self-defense. The Strongs join a growing number of families that are standing up for their 2nd Amendment rights by open carrying and bringing gun ownership out of the closet and into the mainstream.”
The story follows the Strong family (very subtle last name!) on their day of errands, which culminates in a gift for Brenna. Can you guess what it is? Her very own handgun!
Even though this is a uniquely American story, it does speak volumes about the culture of fear that we all live in. There is a notion among gun lobbyists that the world is so dangerous that they need to be able to protect themselves at all times. I’m happy to live in Canada where the gun control laws are much tighter and the stakes are less high. But I think that the fear that underscores so many of the gun lobbyists arguments leaks north of the border as well.
Many people honestly believe that our world is less safe than it was compared to the 1970s, but the statistics show that crime rates are actually down. And yet, we feel the need to protect our children all times. We do that by giving them less freedom and teaching them to be scared of the world around them. Few of us would openly carry a gun given the chance, but being constantly obsessed with safety hurts us all.