November 9, 2008

He's A Gun-Snatcher

A New York Times article by Kirk Johnson reported that "Sales of handguns, rifles and ammunition have surged in the last week, according to gun store owners around the nation who describe a wave of buyers concerned that an Obama administration will curtail their right to bear arms." Just a day later, a horrifying article detailed how an 8-year old boy killed his father and another man with a .22-caliber rifle in Arizona.

The haunting (and seemingly everyday) image above, from Bill Owens' telling photo essay "Suburbia" published by Straight Arrow Books in 1972, immediately crept into mind.

A caption for the photograph reads: I don't feel that Richie playing with guns will have a negative effect on his personality. (He already wants to be a policeman). His childhood gun-playing won't make him into a cop-shooter. By playing with guns he learns to socialize with other children. I find the neighbors who are offended by Richie's gun, either the father hunts or their kids are the first to take Richie's gun and go off and play with it. 

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