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Thank the NRA for This Disturbing Fashion Trend: Clothes to Conceal Your Gun

 
 
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The New York Times reports on the worst fashion trend we've heard about for years. Uglier than Uggs, more frightening than skinny jeans.

Introducing the concealed carry or "covert fashion" trend, for gun owners who don't just want the military look, but something more fashion-forward:

Other companies are rushing to meet the demand for concealed-carry clothing.
Under Armour, best known for its sports and action gear, will be adding a jacket and a plaid shirt with Velcro pockets for easy gun access.
Kevin Eskridge, senior director for outdoor product and design at the company, said the company had seen demand double in the last year for such clothing from traditional outdoor and sporting goods stores, like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabela’s.

The psychology behind the fashion is particularly troubling--the idea that somehow the hidden aspect of the weapon will protect its user, instead of endangering those around him or her:

The clothing lines address a perceived need in the concealed-carry subculture. Gun owners say they want to practice “maximum uncertainty,” meaning that if a gun is sufficiently concealed, a potential criminal will be unsure whether to attack. Gun experts say the research is inconclusive about whether such tactics reduce crime. Regardless, the clothing makers are jumping on the line of thinking.

Of course, this is all a result of the gun lobby's legal push for concealed-carry laws, which along with the disturbing "stand your ground" laws have made big advancements of late:

 

After a campaign by gun rights advocates, 37 states now have “shall issue” statutes that require them to provide concealed-carry permits if an applicant meets legal requirements, like not being a felon. (A handful of other states allow the concealed carrying of handguns without a permit). By contrast, in 1984 only 8 states had such statutes, and 15 did not allow handgun carrying at all, said John Lott, a researcher of gun culture who has held teaching or research posts at a number of universities, including the University of Chicago.

Read the whole thing here, and shudder.  And consider Amanda Marcotte's thoughts on why this trend has exploded:

 

"Wanting a feeling of control" is a very nice way of describing "in a state of abject paranoia that manifests itself in fantasies that people are coming around every corner to kill you". So why is this feeling on the rise? It certainly has nothing to do with actual fear of crime, since crime rates are down, not up. Like way down. No, the predominantly conservative white men that are deep into gun culture are feeling out of control for another reason. They see women and people of color slowly making gains in society, and they fear that they are losing their unearned dominance and control over society. So they buy a gun and carry it around to regain that sense of control and dominance

 

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at April 24, 2012, 6:22am

 
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