Friday, January 22, 2010

Jezuss! Branded Guns?

Back in moroni, I am starting the day with my usual latte (made by one of the children that are given a chance to get out of poverty by doing dignified work around my humble residence) and, to take the edge off my recent trip to Haiti, I thought I get an update with some of the news doing the rounds via the HRI V-sat connection with a dedicated line to my villa. I thought the jesus-freak gun story was quite exquisite and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the wide spectrum of outrage that punters expressed around this. I wonder what they expected gun manufacturers to write on their guns? Quotes from naom chomsky perhaps?

Naturally, being a strong believer myself, and knowing clearly that mine is the only true religion I naturally feel offended by such shameless proselytizing. On the other hand, should I find myself on the wrong side of that barrel-mounted sight, would I care about the religious branding of the gun that fired the bullet? For all I know the dude who handles that gun may very well be sporting a tasteful crucifix around his neck, for protection (against the evil eye), not unlike this one:

You’d wonder though, the feller who owns that company must be a pretty cunning businessman, or he wouldn't be running such a succesful shop (I think it’s safe to assume we’re talking about a bloke here, not a woman). He surely would have expected the outrage should the meaning of those letters become known. Which means that only three explanations are possible:

1. His religious belief is more important to him than his business; or
2. Spreading the word is his business, and the gun thing is just a means to an end; or
3. The sights are a special issue, designed to be used in tactical interventions against vampires and werewolves, vulnerable, as we all know, to silver and stuff out of the good book.

The first theory is highly unlikely and the third one, while very likely, must be discarded as the weapons were not shipped to Transylvania but to Afghanistan. Which makes me think that the second theory must be the real one and since that is the case, the whole story actually reminds me of some of HRIs favourite donors.

HRI connoisseurs may be forgiven for thinking I refer to the legitimate use of the good book as a source of evidence in some of HRIs most acclaimed interventions. In fact I am talking about the very strong terms in which HRIs most strategic donor demands that all activities funded by them be branded to the point where the impact of said activities is irrelevant whereas messing with the branding is a deal breaker. That is one of the reasons why this particular donor is so dear to us. As development veterans HRI understands these things and there is no competitor development partner out there who delivers on that particular indicator better than us. Branded T-shirts, well branded vehicles (including my humble V12 as well as the vest of the guy whose name i forgot and who drives me around every day) and, cutting edge stuff, that safe and hygienic tattoo parlor HRI manages in Laos where orphans receiving a helping of rice out of donor branded sacks are politely but firmly given a “quarter-sleeve” of a tasteful pair of shaking hands.

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