I’ve seen some pretty awful-looking things. As a former Navy Corpsman, it was part of our training, showing us pictures of the various wounds we might see on the battlefield. Many of my fellow corpsmen saw far worse in Afghanistan and Iraq, of course, but compared to the average person, I’ve seen awful things.
Yet anti-gunners have a strange fascination with similar;y awful pictures.
What they want to do is publish them, force them on the American public, in hopes that people will be so torn up over it that we’ll pass gun control.
This spring, mass shooting debates heated up once more following the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which took place only 10 days after a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. Online, some began calling for the release of graphic mass shooting images, believing the devastation would force lawmakers into action. Experts, however, don’t seem to agree with that analysis.
These conversations aren’t new. After the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, the families of victims debated whether releasing graphic images would be useful. Lenny Pozner, whose 6-year-old son, Noah, died at Sandy Hook Elementary School, thought about showing what the shooter’s AR-15-style rifle had done to his son’s body. The New York Times wrote: “His first thought: ‘It would move some people, change some minds.’ His second: ‘Not my kid.’”
Since Uvalde, these discussions have reignited, with many invoking Mamie Till’s decision to open her son’s casket. While mainstream media outlets generally refuse to publish such graphic images on ethical grounds, some journalists are siding with these calls. Immediately after the Uvalde shooting, Nancy Barnes, NPR’s senior vice president for news, tweeted, “We cannot sanitize these killings. That in and of itself is an editorial decision.”
In a Philadelphia Inquirer column, journalism dean David Boardman and interim medical-school dean Amy Goldberg of Temple University urged journalists to “show the bodies,” writing, “Put on display — in newspapers, on television, across the internet — a photograph or three that can, finally, help the American public understand exactly what happens when a weapon designed for modern warfare is unleashed on innocent, unarmed people. Like a 10-year-old at school.”
Of course, this is all about emotion. They want us all to look at these gruesome pictures and be so upset that we’ll listen to them when they say that gun control is our only possible salvation.
Yet there are significant problems with this, to say the least.
First, there’s the fact that such photographs are disturbing to people, upsetting in various ways, and a decision to publish them in our media means forcing them on people who don’t consent to see such images. It is, in a real way, psychological rape.
But that’s OK for them since these pictures would serve their cause. They don’t have a problem with forcing people to do things they don’t want to do–after all, what else is gun control but ultimately trying to force us to do what we don’t wish to do?–so long as the force is their force and what people are made to do is what they want them to do.
Yet this effort is telling.
What they’re basically admitting is that they can’t win the gun debate based on the facts. They can’t provide a sufficiently convincing argument as to why gun control should be passed.
While public opinion often supports various gun control efforts, that support tends to be soft. It’s there now but will likely be gone tomorrow, which is why there’s always such an imperative to pass it while support is high.
Yet let’s also remember that the media supports gun control severely. Academia supports it as well, even tripping over themselves to create studies that support the restriction of your Second Amendment rights.
None of that has really worked.
So, they want to force horrible pictures on the American public, all in an effort to bully people into doing what they want.
Yet if they’re going to do that, then I want to publish the pictures of people murdered in various countries around the world, as well as here at home because they were unable to access a firearm due to the various gun control laws. I want the world to see that gun control isn’t some magical talisman that makes bad things stop happening.
Two can play at that game, but I don’t think they’ll like how that turns out.