Sunday, December 01, 2013

GUNNERS, BOWLING ALONE

According to a Guns & Ammo story, firearms manufacturer Daniel Defense has had a TV ad rejected for broadcast on the Super Bowl:
... Though the video doesn't showcase one of the company's popular DDM4 rifles, this paid advertisement spot was rejected by the NFL.

The commercial, which focuses on themes of personal protection and fundamental rights, was originally created by Daniel Defense to run in any network TV station at any time.

... The NFL's Advertising Policy addresses several Prohibited Advertising Categories....

The firearms portion of the NFL's Prohibited Advertising Categories states:

"5. Firearms, ammunition or other weapons are prohibited; however, stores that sell firearms and ammunitions (e.g., outdoor stores and camping stores) will be permitted, provided they sell other products and the ads do not mention firearms, ammunition or other weapons."
The company notes that it has brick-and-mortar stores that sell goods other than firearms, and also "offered to replace the DDM4 logo with an American flag and/or the words 'Shall not be infringed,'" according to the Gun & Ammo story. No deal, said the NFL.

I don't know if this is a legitimate effort to get a gun ad aired during the game or just an inexpensive way for Daniel Defense to get free publicity out of the rejection. (I can't help noticing that the Guns & Ammo story repeatedly mentions that DDM4 rifle.)

But what I find interesting is the nature of the ad. It depicts a former serviceman returning to his suburban home, where his wife and baby await. As low-key music plays, the imagery (uniform, flag, angelic baby and baby monitor) hits a lot of emotional hot buttons, especially in conjunction with the rather chilling voiceover:




It's been a long road getting here, and a lot has changed since I got back. Now this is the center of my world, and my family's safety is my highest priority. I am responsible for their protection, and no one has the right to tell me how to defend them. So I've chosen the most effective tool for the job.
Final frame:





Maybe I've read too many David Brooks columns about Robert Putnam's book Bowling Alone, but I can't help noticing how, in this man's world, there's country (represented by the flag and the military) and there's family, but there's nothing in between. There's no community. His posture is that he's a soft-focus loving dad, but he's also a lone wolf. It's him against the world.

The point of Bowling Alone is that America has become a nation of atomized residents who no longer join bowling leagues and other voluntary associations. I think there's some truth to that -- but this ad reminds me how much right-wing propaganda cultivates that sense of atomization, by portraying American society as debased and not worth participating in.

This guy comes home and regards the society beyond his property line as full of hostile figures who either want to hurt his precious family or deny him the means to defend his loved ones. This strikes me as a specifically right-wing worldview -- I can't think of an analogue for this on the left. If that's how you see society, no wonder you're bowling -- and gunning -- alone.

11 comments:

Victor said...

The Liberal analogue would be some male DFH, reeking of patchouli oil, wearing natural fiber clothing, in hemp sandals, coming home to the commune bearing the marijuana leaves he'd just cut, while his DFH girlfriend puts the baby she'd been nursing down in a bamboo and straw crib, and pours a cup of herbal tea for him, while the other DFH's take a break from their chores, and greet him.

flipyrwhig said...

Also missing, in classic Death Wish fashion: the cops.

aimai said...

Beautifully written and quite right.

M. Bouffant said...

It's been a long road getting here, and a lot has changed since I got back.
Yeah, a lot has changed: Violent crime is down, for one thing. But try telling him that.

This guy comes home and regards the society beyond his property line as full of hostile figures who either want to hurt his precious family or deny him the means to defend his loved ones.
Welcome to the world inhabited by the fearful & their oversized amygdalas. There really is no left equivalent to this sort of paranoia.

Ten Bears said...

Yeah, a lot has changed in the forty years since I came home: it's the twenty-first century! For example, Ronnie Raygun didn't start a nuclear war with the former Soviet Union (now and again Russia) so it wasn't necessary to raise my family in an old school bus on the High Cascade with guns and dogs (wolf/belgian shepard hybrids) and goats and three years dried goods and ammunition. Had I not, things might have turned out differently. I might have gone to school and started a "career" earlier than my mid-thirties. I might have joined the credit card society so today I'd be rich on paper. Any number of things I could have done, had I not been played for a rube by a suit somewhere out east who sat out the war with college differments.

Still have the guns.

No fear.

The New York Crank said...

Hey, you guys, quit badmouthing the spot. Look at the two really really good things it did:

1. It showed us that in America, a typical young army sergeant can afford a home that costs between $450,000 and $1.5 million, depending where it's located.

2. It showed a woman in her proper role: in the home, folding laundry

Yours most crankily,
The New York Crank

freemansfarm77 said...

"This guy comes home and regards the society beyond his property line as full of hostile figures who either want to hurt him precious family or deny him the means to defend his loved ones. This strikes me as a specifically right-wing worldview -- I can't think of an analogue for this on the left.:

Well, rightists say that "the left" is by and large all about the State and the individual, and nothing in between. It is the left, according to this view, that sees the world as hostile...the corporations, the churches, the racists, the sexists, the homophobes, the "vast right wing conspiracy" generally, etc all out to get him and other victims. The left wants to disempower all these oppressive private group actors (churches, families, businesses, employers, associations), while making the State more powerful to protect him and others from them. With the only exception being individual rights. And, of course, according to the right, even individual rights are ephemeral if not based on natural law, and that they are then revocable at any time by the State.

"in this man's world, there's country (represented by the flag and the military) and there's family, but there's nothing in between. There's no community."

The claim is that leftists say they care about "community," but what they really mean by that is the State, and usually the largest embodiment of the State (ie the Fed) at that. The left says it takes a village, but what they really mean is that it takes the government of the village, with mandates coming from the State capitol and DC.

I'm not saying any of this is true or valid, but that is the claim. Atomism is the inevitable product of liberal fixation on autonomy. No priest, no parent, no tradition, etc is going to tell a liberal what to do. And so a liberal ends up all alone, with only the State to protect him, but also at the mercy of that State, because all other institutions have been weakened or destroyed.

Ten Bears said...

You're making the claim. It's coming out of your mouth.

Drink some more Kool-Aid, boy.

No fear.

freemansfarm77 said...

Dude, the man said that he "couldn't think of an analogue" on the left. I was just trying to help him out. Some folks, perhaps not you among them, actually like to be presented with a new idea, with a way of looking at things from the other side, even if they don't ultimately agree with it. It is usually quite easy to see where our political opponents go wrong, but not always so easy to see how we ourselves at least MIGHT be open to those very same faults.

And, last time I checked, it was OK to say, in effect, ya' know, over on the other side, they say X, Y and Z, and not necessarily be on the other side or buy into X, Y and Z. To, as I said, simply be presenting the conservative argument, for the sake of argument.

Or is that too subtle for your Good Guy/Bad Guy worldview? I suppose so. For someone to repeat, even if they disavow, an argument, means, in your tiny, little mind, that they have drunk the "Kool Aid" (which, I take it, is your catch all phrase for anything you disagree with). "Ten Bears?" Sounds more like Ten Idiots to me.

And one final thing...I ain't your "boy."

jemand said...

What makes me sad about this is the shamefully high suicide attempt rate among returning veterans, and the lethality of initial attempts using firearms. With the current (lack of) support for returning troops with PTSD or other psychological problems, the last thing we need, especially for their benefit, is continued insistence it is them against the world and that they must always have weapons nearby.

Steve M. said...

I agree. The man in Georgia who shot an Alzheimer's patient who wandered to his door in the middle of the night was an Iraq war veteran. I wonder how much of a factor that was in the shooting.