Gun control, the Elephant in the room.

It has not escaped me that last week I made two posts which had images of guns in them, albeit fake and toy guns, but still... guns.  The shooting in Arizona took place that following saturday and my next post was a fluffy one about Air Supply, roller skating and thrift stores.  As photographers, as normal folks, how do we talk about this without alienating people?  Either you are a war photographer or you just don't bring it up, I have no idea if any of my clients have strong feelings about gun control or the partisan rhetoric flying around this week on T.V. 

watch Palin's "blood libel" video here

Rep James Clyburn reacts to Palin's comments here

(I readily admit this post is more for me than anyone else, if you have read this far... thank you.  But the fact of the matter is that most people don't read long blog posts from photographers whose tag lines are things like Less Is More.)  But I continue:

Watching President Obama speak last night made me proud of him, but not mentioning the obvious need for hand gun control in this country made me a little sad.  Yes, we need to be more civil to one another.... just like Thumper reluctantly told Bambi, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".  But the framers of our constitution couldn't possibly have envisioned semi-automatic Glocks. You may or may not like Obama.  I personally love him, although as a nation, we have projected more on to him that he can possibly deal with.  But Mr. President, the statistics say it all (see below).

Yes, let's all be civil.  But let's also use this opportunity to address one of the actual problems, the elephant in the room:  handguns.

click here to watch

Handguns Murdered:

  • 373 people in Germany
  • 151 people in Canada
  • 57 people in Australia
  • 19 people in Japan
  • 54 people in England and Wales, and
  • 11,789 people in the United States (suicides not included)
Sources:  CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2007; Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence; The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

-85% of Americans want mandatory handgun registration.  85% of Americans endorse the mandatory registration of handguns and 72% also want mandatory registration of longguns (rifles and shotguns).  - 1998 National Gun Policy Survey of the National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago