When I received the June issue of Guns & Ammo in the mail the other day, I noticed libertarian radio and TV personality Dana Loesch on the cover but didn’t note anything special about it.
Today when I received the Guns & Ammo newsletter by email I could not miss the announcement: First Woman in 54 Years to Appear on Guns & Ammo Magazine Cover. Apparently Loesch’s appearance is the first time any woman has appeared on the cover since November 1961. Up with women!
As someone interested in the role of women in Gun Culture 2.0, my first thought was, BIG DEAL. The picture of her is about as big as the butt stock on the Inland M1 Carbine that dominates the cover. Her head is smaller than the head of Tom Beckstrand, which also appears on the cover.
Moreover, the photos selected to accompany the exclusive interview seemed ridiculous to me. In the largest one, Loesch holds a revolver looking away from the camera, happily surprised for some reason, and cupping an air cantaloupe with her non-gun hand.
In the next largest photo, she holds a AR-style rifle but looks dreamily off in the distance for some reason.
Basically, these poses — two from what were probably hundreds the editors could have chosen — highlight the kind of female passivity that I would expect to find in Vogue. Think of it this way: No one would have a man pose this way, particular not while holding a firearm.
The message conveyed by these images was not lost on readers. The first comment on the story from the Guns & Ammo site, by BahiaBob, reads:
I just renewed my subscription! Thanks, Dana!
Putting women gun owners like Dana on your cover is a brilliant move and you should repeat this often in future. The sight of a beautiful woman who is highly competent with a gun is very sexy! There are many gun owning women like Dana and they tell the feminine side of gun ownership. Women need to own, learn tactics and carry to protect themselves from predators. My daughter is one that does carry and isn’t afraid to use her pistol in the defense of herself and others. I trained her well. I applaud Dana and G&A for telling the story!
Am I the only one who thinks its weird/creepy that this guy highlight the sexiness of women and guns, then talks about his daughter and guns? Or is the more important point that there are highly competent gun owning women who are willing and able to use firearms in defense of themselves and others? Why wasn’t that conveyed by the photos of Dana Loesch?
So, good for G&A for putting Dana Loesch on the cover, but bad for G&A for using these lame photos.
By the way, I was interested to learn that the REAL cover of Loesch was specially produced for newsstands only, and has a much stronger photo of Loesch — one almost as strong as the one that appears on the cover of her book.