Gun Madness In America, The Way We Must See It


It was Tuesday in America, so of course, there was going to be gun violence. Like on Monday, Wednesday, and every other day of the week. As such the bizarre behavior from a mentally unstable and angry person who was still able to purchase a deadly gun and plenty of ammo are par for the course. We read and see the outcomes of such shootings every day.

But Tuesday something was different.

What caught my attention was how most of the media brought the information to the public. Newsrooms made the decision to show the true horror of gun violence. Though faces were blurred in pictures the blood ran red and loud for everyone to see. The bodies on the ground were in pain, and the tourniquets were a sign of the medical emergencies at hand. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal placed the photo below on their front page coverage today of the shooting. (I applaud that newsroom judgment.)

Injured people are seen in the subway station on Tuesday, photo from Armen Armenian

At least 29 people were injured, including ten people shot, when the attacker donning a gas mask deployed a gas canister on a subway train and started shooting. Miraculously no one sustained life-threatening injuries. Today Frank James, 62, the prime suspect in the rampage was arrested.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the dastardly crimes being committed through orders from President Putin’s generals, have placed the most horrific and troubling images on news programming 24/7. So perhaps newsrooms just felt the level of violence that played out in Brooklyn was not so much different from what we have already been seeing over the past weeks.

But I trust there was more to it than an acceptable level of what the public can handle. I trust there was an awareness in newsrooms of being franker about what is actually occurring many times each day when guns are fired at other people in this nation.

This is what it looks like, and the public need to see images like this to allow them a better understanding of the news about gun violence which happens daily.

Injured people on the platform of the 36th Street subway station Tuesday. This photo was taken by photojournalist Derek French.

The graphic images of gun violence through the powerful lens of photo-journalism simply must be used far more often in our nation. To read about shootings is one thing but to see the blood and wincing of faces in pain is another. The consequences of pervasive gun violence should be used in news reporting as it is very much a part of the whole story.

Not for the first time do I use this blog to give voice to the frustration among a wide segment of our nation about the deadly and violent role guns currently have in our society. I deplore the all-too-often frequent glorification in the media of guns, especially through movies. I reject, of course, the twisted narrative about gun ownership being an ‘American value’, or that it is cemented in the Second Amendment. I abhor the NRA.

So it is vital that the real impact of guns get front-page coverage, with the gore and blood from news photos for all to see.

After all, it was Tuesday in America.

And so it goes.

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