Plus: Durham face-plants
I for one do not want to be further desensitized -- alive ==> dead is all I need to know
I wonder if a demonstration involving, say, pumpkins being shot with a handgun and then with an AR-15 would get the point across, in a well-crafted TV ad run in key markets?
But I also wonder why we can't frog-march every GOP Congressman, Senator and NRA member through the morgue at Uvalde.
If any parent were willing to release a photo of their child’s remains the photo should be published, but I also agree that such a horrific picture really may not be enough to tip anything. I also am completely certain people like myself really don’t need to see them because I’ve always been for sensible gun ownership rules and I’m honestly still disquieted from Columbine, much less the rest of the more heavily reported mass shootings since.
NPR published a story on the local JOP who had to help ID the bodies https://www.npr.org/2022/05/31/1102097583/a-uvalde-coroner-is-haunted-by-identifying-the-bodies-of-children-and-an-old-fri. He is clearly traumatized and acknowledges he will need professional mental health treatment once he downshifts from the urgent environment. He would never want to see any photos published. And then their are those who will never acknowledge anything in what was once the US.’s shared common reality. Photos will be said to be faked, weaponized against the families and any publication will usher in yet another utterly shocking, utterly unsurprising circus of right wing lunacy and propaganda.
But despite the fact that any public release of any photo of a child’s remains is a really awful idea, if seeing a picture could shock even a small percentage of people to acknowledge we need better background checks and higher age limits on buying popular assault weapons and their ammo and that could finally make the difference in the inertia at the federal Congressional level, then the alternative to not offer up the photos is an even worse.
Lawmakers should have to look at them. Though I have no faith politicians will rediscover a little humanity to even nod to the notion of common sense gun safety laws. I’ve been in MO the past 4 years and I cannot imagine any Republican politician here, regardless of the level of their elected post, would blink. The only thoughts they would have after seeing the carnage would be on denials and deflection of that carnage.
Thank you Charlie for your straightforward description of what happens to the human body, especially a child’s body, when it is struck by a bullet from an AR-15. This is a story that needs to be told over and over again. Many have been lulled into the false belief that all guns are the same. That being shot by a handgun is no different than being shot by an assault rifle. As ER docs and trauma surgeons have repeatedly described, if given prompt medical attention, many victims of handgun shootings will survive. That is not the case with assault weapons. The damage (internal and external) is almost always fatal. It is impossible to survive if your organs have exploded.
Assault rifles are weapons of war. They are meant to annihilate enemy combatants. Now, they are being used to annihilate our children. How can anyone believe that weapons of war belong on our streets in the hands of civilians. There is no justifiable use of assault weapons by civilians.
Everyday as I read more about the massacre in Uvalde I feel a renewed sense of grief and despair. There is one story that has given me the tiniest sliver of hope. A retired school teacher from a tiny town in Texas had a very visceral reaction to the massacre. When looking at the pictures of the slain children, he recognized that one of them looked almost exactly like his grandson. This made him feel both sad and angry. This man, a self described 2nd Amendment adherent, decided that shedding tears was not enough. He owned an AR-15 and decided that it was wrong for him to keep a weapon of war so, he turned it in to the police. I know he is just one man turning in one gun but I have to believe there are more people like him, otherwise our situation is futile.
Oh, dear God! Another mass shooting. This one in Tulsa at a medical building. How many have to die before the US regains its sanity and humanity?!
The urge to save children from violence and death is noble and essential for our society. Some sort of filtering and restraining process must be applied to prevent the carnage we have seen recently. However, treating the AR15 and its .223 caliber cartridge as something that creates special carnage in children is incorrect. ALL cartridges are designed to cause wounding and death. it doesn't matter if the caliber is .223, .357, .44 magnum or .45 Colt. The difference between a handgun's tissue damage and that of a rifle is a result of the amount of gunpowder behind the bullet. The venerable .30-06 causes much more damage and a gaping exit wound. A 50 caliber machine gun bullet? Huge-er. Way huge-er than the measly .223. Furthermore, a well-placed .22 bullet which has only a tiny charge of gunpowder has been found by mafiosos to be an effective means of dispatching adversaries.
Simply critiquing a specific firearm and its bullet is short sighted and will be ineffectual. A broad ranging discussion which includes the availablity of semi-automatic firearms, not just the AR15, will be necessary. A process that includes evaluating teenagers who have not yet developed sufficient judgment and discipline, and a process which includes serious discussion of mental illness and how society responds to it will be necessary. Regarding mental illness and the myriad other problems contributing to this carnage, we prefer look the other way and hope that somebody else will take care of the problem. Firearm safety and marksmanship should be the goals of the NRA. Firearms should not be a political tool of either party.
The pictures of the devastation shouldn't be shown publicly. The families have a right to privacy.
Having said that, every legislator should be shown, in closed testimony.
They willingly signed up for public service, for whatever reason(s).
They are taxpayer paid public servants and their first obligation is to the public the voters chose them to serve.
Show them the pictures. Show them video of the aftermath.
If they still refuse to pass gun safety, show them the door!
I have wondered for a long time if an Emmet Till moment would move the needle. I am a registered nurse who worked trauma ED on the west side of Chicago for many years. I have taken care of many, many gsw victims. Witnessed their devastating wounds, heard the wails of their mamas, seen their hearts during open cardiac massage, and skated around in their blood on the floor. This all pre AR 15 wounds. I cannot imagine how awful that must be. Have often thought that maybe if some of these gun nuts worked a couple of shifts with me, maybe….
But I think most of them seem incapable of any sort of empathy. Only interested in their own selfish interests. Immature and uncaring about anything other than their own bubble.
Reading about the AR-15 and its effect on the human body, I think about the inventor of this gun and how I felt reading the words of the inventor of the nuclear bomb.
I understand the emotional impulse behind the idea of showing pictures to the public of the actual physical results of the meeting of a high-velocity bullet with the flesh and bone of a child. It proves the law of physics that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time every time it happens, and does so in a way that is more gruesome than anyone who hasn't seen it for themselves (thank God, I have not) or who has no rudimentary understanding of ballistics, kinetic energy and bullet structure (I do) can ever begin to imagine. And while I have seen the ugliness of gunshot wounds in adults from other types of ammunition from other types of weapons first hand, I shudder at this thought. I can imagine few things that would be more repulsive and disgusting to a normal, average American than this. And I've got a pretty good imagination.
And therein lies the problem. The politicians, and their backers and supporters, who have - and continue - to oppose any attempts at legislation to at least begin to stem the bloodshed and wanton destruction of lives from guns in this country are not exactly 'normal'. They are, truly, deviants. They possess no imagination. But they do possess something the rest of us do not: body armor. And it comes in the form of a heart and conscience wrapped in impenetrable layers of the Kevlar of self-interest, shielded to the extent that I doubt mere pictures would penetrate. I don't even think that if you could magically grab them all by the scruff of the neck and make them walk through the seen of a school massacre such as Sandy Hook, Parkland or now Uvalde while the blood was still wet and the mutilated bodies of children were still on the floor and the smell and taste of incredibly violent death were still in the air that it would make one damned bit of difference to them. For if their hearts and minds are unable to grasp and recognize the simple concept of needlessly dead and gone when it comes to our children, they are dim enough and well-armored enough to resist any effort to get through to them.
This problem, this crime of conscience, must be solved by those of us who do have hearts and minds not protected by the armor of self-interested disinterest and callousness. We must do it without them. And the only way to do that is to replace them in their comfortable positions and offices with people who have both normal hearts and minds and hardworking imaginations. And to hell with whatever partisan 'letter' comes after their name.
Charlie do you worry that showing these images (or doing so in other cases) might provoke a more emotional response as opposed to a rational response? I do think that showing the images of Ukraine dead civilians may have helped turn some allies that were hesitant to help our way. But this issue has had a trite stalemate of talking points that I worry that showing any images will just cause one side to claim victimhood status and take the focus away from the tragedy and make it even harder to pass something that might work in a closed-room negotiation.
But if you show dead images of children could that make the situation worse? I remember the images of abortions shown on the side of trucks in Denver 2008 during the Democratic Convention and most people's response was that it is done for shock value and almost turned them away from the intent.
I honestly have no idea what the best policy is to address the issue but I can't think of many cases where shear emotional spontaneous reaction yielded positive outcomes.
I like your idea of showing the pictures of the kids to a mandatory closed session of both houses and, as little as I like the idea of seeing them myself, I'll cheerfully volunteer to stand at the door and take the signatures of each of the 535 as they leave after the viewing. I'd take them on the way in but my guess is that some would sign and leave to avoid the sight. Unless the AR-15 style firearm uses a load other than the one described here, thereby making it potentially useful for hunting or some other sporting purpose, I don't understand why either the weapons themselves, the ammunition or any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds should be available anywhere in this country. I've said elsewhere that, if someone needs to shoot one to get their rocks off, they should go to a licensed gun club, buy a box of ammo, rent a gun and fire away. Other than that, there is no reasonable justification for these to be accessible to civilians. Anyone who wants one for their very own should join the Army or Marines and become part of that "well regulated militia" that everyone conveniently forgets is part of the 2nd Amendment too.
If I remember my physics correctly, the equation for energy of a moving object is: E = VxVxM. (That's velocity squared times mass.) A bullet going three times as fast would have three squared or nine times as much energy. This is why assault weapons use a smaller bullet with a much higher velocity. These rifles are designed to do the most damage possible.
I don't care whether they agree or not, no reputable outlet should ever cite The Intercept, let alone link to it. I'm disappointed in you, Mr. Sykes.
JD Vance's eyes are dead. He's an unfeeling psychopath.
I don't want to see photos of the victims of mass shootings. I/we NEED to see them. Everyone should see them, and see them all...from Columbine to Sandy Hook to Parkland and Uvalde. ALL OF THEM. Then perhaps the politicians beholden to the NRA will come to grips with their cravenness. No one, other than military and possibly law enforcement, needs a weapon designed for one purpose...killing human beings. The notion that it's for "sport" or target shooting is ludicrous. There are plenty of other, less lethal weapons available for that. The idea that one needs them when the revolution comes is equally so. As Biden pointed out, lethal as these assault weapons are, they're no match for an F-35 or Bradley tank.