Another shot from the January 19th 'Gun Appreciation Day' rally at the Massachusetts State House. See my previous post from this rally for more details.
As I said in my last note, I personally and rather vehemently disagree with the opinions present at this rally. However, I do think it's worth exploring the ideas presented here, if only to better counter them. This shot contains references to some of the most common pro-gun arguments that can be found in the US today. The first is that a society where good people are armed is a safer society, because there is someone to protect people against the bad guys. I suppose in some twisted way that logic makes sense, but of course that's only if you assume that the world can be divided into good and bad people, and that good people will never make a mistake, have an accident, or have a terrible day. On the same day this picture was taken, several people were injured - and thankfully none killed as far as I know - in accidental shootings at gun shows and at similar rallies around the country. The 'shooters' were regular everyday gun owners who simply made mistakes.
For further evidence countering this concept. look no further that the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabriella Giffords in Arizona at a public event. Arizona has among the loosest gun regulations in the country, and there were, according to news accounts, several people present who were carrying guns. None were able to deter the attacker, Jared Lee Loughner; in fact, there were several interviews with a bystander who says that after the shooting he himself drew his weapon and very nearly gunned down another bystander who had done the same. For every story of an armed citizen preventing violence from an armed bad guy, there are hundreds of others that counter it, from accidents to mistakes and beyond.
Another is the argument that 'Tyrants Love Gun Control' - a reference to the idea that the first thing a budding tyrant would do is to attempt to disarm the citizens of a country. While this may even be true, the statement does not work backwards: gun control does not lead to tyrannical rule. At least it hasn't the last time I checked in on most of the established democracies of the rest of the world.
That particular sentiment can also be seen in the sign that reads 'The possession of arms is the distinction between a free man and a slave'. The quote itself comes from a marginal figure in the history of Britain's Whig Party, and is a perfect summation of the fragility of democratic movements of the late 18th century. While I don't want to belabor my points here, those quoting Burgh - or Jefferson or any other 18th century figure - would do well to remember not only the wide gap in technology, but also the very wide gap in political development between those times. It is entirely possible that in the 1770s, in Britain and in the US, the possession of a firearm was the only guarantee of democracy and freedom. It cannot be said to be today.
Critiques | Translate
jcpix (3325) 2013-02-06 15:23
Good evening Andrew,
I'm thinking that you may want to entitle this series as "Pandora's Box!?" I love that TE can exist for many facets within the medium of photography, images such as this that are thought provoking. I'm fascinated to learn about other countries and cultures through photos, people and places I may never get the chance to see. I'm also very intrigued how we, as Americans, are perceived throughout the world...and this is the kind of current event that will inevitably lead to much debate and conversation. I realize this is not a political forum, but it does spark many emotions from the imagery.
I'm glad you've decided to present these as a form of artistic interpretation, "life through the lens" if you will. Daily life will go on regardless of anyone's stance on the subject, and it's a great moment captured in time. Thanks for sharing!
dkmurphys (36831) 2013-02-06 23:04
Well, this is a world of signs and we choose to respect or disobey them. Nice everyday scene.
snunney (67394) 2013-02-07 2:44
Here in Europe it is difficult to us to understand the deep feelings that the proposed changes to the gun laws in the United States raise in supporters and opponents. Most European countries have had some sort of controls on the carrying of fire arms by the general public for getting on for a 100 years. A colourful and descriptive daily life image well presented.
jhm (122474) 2013-02-07 3:50
Thank you very much for your notes.
I know and read everyday that a very difficult theme " Weapons ", a pity the last years are the people and bandits more and more to see in the street also in Belgium with different weapons.
But I am glad that you shows these daily life picture.
Sharpness and clarity are pleasant for look at.
Excellent composition, lovely presentation. TFS.
kasianowak (2263) 2013-02-07 6:19
Thanks again for posting these! Food for thought...
Very well framed photo, would be great to see it in a newspaper illustrating headline news.
Noel_Byrne (7426) 2013-02-07 9:23
I know this is such a dividing subject, and I know which side I sit on, so for me, its quite incredible to read some of the messages on these signs. In saying that though, i dont come from a background where guns are allowed, so it is in a way another world to me entirely. A very emotive issue, i can see that from this and your last shot, and a great piece of photo journalism.
Thanks for sharing
Nicou (97775) 2013-02-08 1:46
Très belle vue de cette manifestation très belle scène et captage de ce gens.
Bravo et amitié
macjake (39235) 2013-02-08 10:58
I won't go on a tirade like i did last time i critiqued your gun rally photo!
I just don't understand the American "right" that so many of the people have. Their "right" to have the freedom to do as they please. Where does this "right" attitude come from. Seems like every other nation in the world has common sense, but some american people just want to have their 'rights'. There has to be a common middle ground somewhere.
anyways...another mind blowing scene from this rally.
It gets my blood boiling! especially the slave sign on the right...my god....really??????????
- Copyright: Andrew Lipsett (ACL1978) (5789)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-01-19
- Categories: Event
- Camera: Nikon D3100, Nikkor 18-105 1:3.5-5.6 G ED VR
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/320 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Flags, Historical [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2013-02-06 13:58