Out of our cold dead hands

Out of our cold dead hands

Eleven-year-old Vanessa Noble with 9mm Ruger P89, On Target Shooting Range, Laguna Niguel, California 1996 This kid could be me. “American Epidemic: Guns in the United States,” which opened last weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Photography , includes Nancy Floyd’s She’s Got a Gun —a series of portraits of gun-toting women with short wall text quotes from interviews with them. One is a smiling 11-year-old target shooter with her finger on the trigger of a 9mm pistol. She says “Lindsay,” six years old and presumably her sister, is shooting a .22. They love it. I can relate, sort of. I got my own .22 when I was nine. But it wasn’t only for target practice. Like many men of his generation, my father hunted for sport. The prey were wild things—pheasants and deer. We flushed birds from autumn cornfields so that humans with guns could attempt to blow their brains out. Don’t call it gun violence. Guns are always violent. And it’s always hunting season in Chicago. So far this year, more than 3,000 people have been shot in the city; last weekend alone, according to the Chicago Police Department, there were 40 shooting incidents and 60 firearm victims . MoCP curator Karen Irvine says the museum team has been actively working on this exhibit for more than three years, but had the subject on their to-do list for much longer. “We have a social justice-focused mission,” she told me, and COVID-19 has made it even more pressing: […]

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