Numerous blog sites, including Blotch, printed this photo of two children holding guns at last weekend’s Main Street Arts Festival.
The photo of the boy and girl holding rifles accompanied articles about Open Carry Texas (OCT) members, a group that toted firearms at the festival to bring attention to Texas law that allows such a thing.
A woman called this morning to say those were her kids, and they are not connected to OCT in any way. The woman is afraid that her son and daughter, who don’t even own guns, are going to be harassed. (She did not want her name or her children’s names published.)
“We went to the arts festival and were just walking around,” she said.
They stumbled across the OCT publicity stunt, with people holding guns, and others taking photos.
Her kids said they’d like a photo with a gun, and she asked OCT members if she could take a photo of her kids holding the weapons. But she wasn’t the only one taking photos. Other photographers snapped away, and the internet did the rest.
“I was standing there and they took a picture, and I’m going to own that,” she said.
Police officers were nearby, the guns weren’t loaded, and it seemed like a fun and safe thing, she said.
“My father was a federal officer,” she said. “I was raised around guns. My kids are well educated. But they don’t own guns. They had nothing to do with the Open Carry. They just took a picture and it’s gotten all blown up.”
She was particularly annoyed by a commenter named Michael B. who wrote that, “for people claiming to love guns and their 2nd Amendment, they are doing a horrible job raising their children. Look at the boy with the rifle. Bolt closed, finger on the trigger. At a public event. Look, if you feel inadequate and want to compensate by carrying a weapon in the open that’s just fine. Given the strength of the argument given by Open Carry, I gather more than a few of them don’t qualify for concealed. But poor trigger discipline is appalling.”
The boy’s mother said the photo is deceiving, and said his finger was never on the trigger.
“Slandering my children? Unacceptable,” she said.
Today she’s been trying to contact the various blog sites to explain the photo, but said she hasn’t exactly been embraced.
“You’re the first one who’s been civil to me,” she said.