Hanting Wang Unit 3 Post 2
For this specific post I chose to elaborate on the topic of gun violence. The damage firearms bring is widespread and at the same time hard to prevent. Especially in countries without strict gun-control policies, social tensions and irrationality would quickly be amplified by their presence.
The numerosity of the confiscated firearms is perhaps the most direct visual impact of the entire image. As the gun parts were illuminated under the sun, it is not hard to imagine the suffering, pain, loss, and deaths caused by the weapons. The colors of black, brown, and metallic silver in the pile of dissembled gun parts also implies the covertness and widespread nature of gun violence: the dark colors enable violence to conceal itself and blend into the shadows.
Additionally, the three bystanders, presumably military officers, could be interpreted as insufficient efforts to stop the immense threat to public safety. Their hands, dangling over waists, show forcelessness and fatigue. Observing the sheer amount of weaponry, it is safe to say that there are many left hidden in possession of criminals and even potential perpetrators of laws.
In many ways, this above picture resembles the one taken by James Nachtwey in Rwanda in 1994 after the infamous genocide. The grim tone and the concentrated pile of innumerable weapons both imply trauma in a silent, yet indelible way. On the other hand, it also points to some concepts proposed by Gourevitch. As this picture undoubtedly elucidate the presence of mob activities, it fits Gourevitch’s understanding of violence: “People revere power, and there isn’t enough education. You take a poor, ignorant population, and give them arms, and say, ‘It’s you. Kill.’ They’ll obey.” (23, Gourevitch)
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda.London: Picador, 2015.