Memo to all American dads: enough with the shotgun “joke” already
The most uniquely “American” things go something like this: apple pie, baseball, and dads who threaten young boys with artillery over their daughter’s chastity.
Because young women can’t be expected to have agency over their own bodies in this, Year Of Our Lord Two Thousand And Eighteen, yet another dad is making headlines because of the old shotgun “joke.”
Brian Kemp, who is running to become Georgia’s next governor, can be seen gripping a shotgun with his cold, dead hands in his latest political ad. This is an actual commercial aimed at constituents to sway them into voting for a governor who thinks it’s a riot to threaten teenagers with guns for purely sexist reasons.
Note the many guns on display in what appears to be Kemp’s home. There are guns and ammo on the tables, and even a few sprinkled around a barrel thingy in the background — aside from the one cocked and aimed at poor “Jake” here.
After rattling off a few boilerplate reasons why he wants to be governor, Kemp makes “Jake” wrap up the ad by sharing some thoughts about the second amendment. Just in case sitting inside his Guns ‘R Us basement wasn’t enough to clue us in, Brian Kemp is a big fan of firearms. (Which is fine, if you use them responsibly. Something he doing the opposite of here.)
He makes Jake agree if he goes on a date with one of Kemp’s daughters, “respect and a healthy appreciation for the second amendment” are requirements. “We’re gonna get along just fine,” Kemp says after literally cocking the shotgun.
Kemp’s ad soon started circulating online, with many people offering their thoughts on the tiresome trope of fathers who feel they own their daughters’ sexual agency.
Others were quick to point out that a guy who is behaving irresponsibly with firearms might not be the best person to run an entire state.
Many people say this ad convinced them to vote for Kemp’s democratic opponent, Stacey Evans, a lawyer, mother, and wife who does not appear to toy around with guns in a threatening manner as part of her campaign platform.
As we witnessed recently with the dad who posed with a gun in his daughter’s prom photo, people aren’t exactly super receptive to the idea for two reasons. One, asserting property rights over teenage girls is barbaric, misogynistic, and incredibly problematic. Two, “joking” around by threatening teenage boys with guns doesn’t exactly promote or demonstrate responsible gun ownership. How anyone thinks this is an okay thing to do post-Parkland, in a country in the midst of a gun violence crisis, is beyond logic.
Fathers of daughters who may feel similarly to Brian Kemp, please take note: you do not have the right to control your daughter’s sexuality. And especially not by way of gun violence. Neither of those things is funny. Period.