In the wake of the recent terrorist assault of one man on an Elementary school there has been many serious dialogues about what to do. If your Facebook page is anything like mine you will have witnessed people arguing over gun-ownership along with others making it their mission to beat you personally over the head with their stance on it all.
Throughout the dialogue I have seen it wax racial (ie: America views black serial shooters as thugs and white serial shooters as mentally disabled); I have read replies from gun owners trying (poorly) to deflect attention to healthcare (mull that one over) ; and I have seen reactionary people demand gun control.
It was enough for me to want to take a break from Social Media for at least a month. One thing that crossed my mind however was a project that friend of The Hall and award-winning Photographer Bayete Ross Smith is working on called Gatling America. It made me wonder whether the tragedy of last week would be positive or negative for his goal and whether or not it would be difficult to get more gun owners to pose for him.
So what is Gatling America?
From: bayeterosssmith.com: “Too often the image of a gun owner sways between the extremes of the romanticized action hero and the evil criminal. Rarely is there a depiction of an ordinary citizen devoid of sensationalism, even when you consider TV shows like “Sons of Guns”. Nor is their story told within the context of daily life with their voice given priority in defining them. Ultimately this work examines how we draw the line between recreational violence and deplorable violence. One person’s Bernie Getz or George Zimmerman is the next person’s Billy the Kid or Nat Turner.”
“As with my Taking AIM series, I am curious about the line we draw between destructive violence and recreational violence. I am also investigating how that line changes and evolves over time. What is, what has been and what will be the gun’s role in our cultural evolution? How do firearms influence our social landscape and how are they different from other weapons through out human history? Gatling (America) looks at gun owners from a cultural perspective and tells the story of gun ownership accordingly. It is about the search for general truth, through each individual truth, which contributes to our larger culture.”
Check out Bayete Ross Smith’s Gatling America and tell me what you think!