Saturday, January 8, 2011

Taking Aim: Rhetoric of the Gun in Images and Words

On a day filled with tragic images of the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others, it seems absurd to blog about anything else. As advertised, this is a blog about how “looking at art leads to thinking about life,” but today I’m interested in how looking at certain images (and the words that accompany them) lead to thinking about death, specifically death delivered from the barrel of a gun. For all those who proclaim a constitutional right to bear arms, I’ll counter with a 9-year-old girl’s constitutional right to know what it’s like to be 10, something one of today’s victims will never experience. Yes, guns don’t kill people—crazy people with too easy access to guns kill people, sometimes under the influence of visual and verbal propaganda that makes light of taking aim on a human being while knowing full well that someone may take it serious, deadly serious. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Taking Aim."

1 comment:

Hels said...

First of all let me declare my own position. I believe there is nothing quite as alarming as a nation that allows weapons in the hands of ordinary citizens (I am not including the army here, or even the police).

But here you have a problem. Even for Americans, looking at certain art images and the words that accompany them will split the community.

Those who are already anti-guns and anti-murder will see shooting/hunting/killing paintings as morally offensive. Those who support the right to bear arms will see the EXACT SAME paintings as celebrating freedom.

The truths in art, as in literature or philosophy, are not absolute.