Nevada lawmaker Michele Fiore arms her entire family with semi-automatic weapons for a little festive cheer
Gun control continues to be a hot debate in America, for obvious reasons. At the time of writing, 12,340 people have been shot dead this year in America and a Texas state legislator recently made the incredible argument that Syrian refugees should be banned from the country on the basis that it’s too easy for them to buy guns. Guns are big business in the US of A and despite yet another mass shooting in San Bernardino, they don’t appear to be going anywhere soon, largely because firearms are wedded to the concept of "American values".
Some Americans, particularly conservative ones, believe guns to be an important part of the family, like a dog or a television. Nevadan Republican politician Michele Fiore clearly has something of a soft spot for firearms – she posted a Christmas card on Facebook last week (one day before the shooting in San Bernardino, days after the Planned Parenthood shooting) that shows most of her family holding terrifyingly large weapons, along with the message: "It’s up to Americans to protect America. We’re just your ordinary American family. With love & liberty, Michele".
One kid, stood in the centre of the photograph holding a handgun, can’t be a day over 10. The caption in the top left reveals what type of gun each family member is holding.
"David: Beretta 92FS, Sheena: Glock 30 45 acp, Michele: Serbu Super Shorty 12ga, Lill: Extar EXP556, Savanah: Glock 19 9 mm, Kyle: Glock 30 45asp," reads the caption.
Everyone in the photograph looks extremely happy to be armed for Christmas as part of seasonal pro-gun propaganda. There’s something disarmingly creepy about the photo – glocks and berettas aren’t particularly Christmassy and hijacking what’s widely considered a happy time of year to campaign for guns – which let’s face it, don’t need any more back up in America – feels genuinely odd too.
Fiore’s card goes to show that guns are going nowhere fast in the USA. It’s not just the sheer amount of them and the ease of access, what is harder to shift goes beyond the physical weapons; it’s difficult to change the mind of a nation containing politicians that send out Christmas cards with their family fully armed and a checklist of weapons.