Slaves and Guns


 Street art seen on the streets of NYC

Inspiration ignites from discovery connections between nature, life, and art. One idea will lead me to another. In fact, this happened recently after I watched the movie Lincoln. As I walked out of the movie theater I thought, today it seems horrifically unbelievable and completely unethical and immoral that not so long ago greed or prejudices justified slavery. Due to economic and social relations at the time, many people saw nothing wrong in ‘owning’ another human as their personal property. Steven Spielberg’s film, a depiction based off the historic book Team of Rivals, casts perspective on an historical event through dramatic art.

www.civilwartalk.comSlave ad 1854, image courtesy of

The movie led me to consider one of today’s controversial topics—the right to bear arms and the 2nd Amendment. I couldn’t help but think that a time will come in the future, perhaps 150 years from now, when people might walk out of a theater after viewing a film dramatizing current day shooting rampages. During this film there will be ‘fictional’ depictions, maybe actual film footage, of the all to frequent campus rampages from Columbine to the recent massacre that took place in the elementary school in Connecticut. I imagine people will wander out of the theater wondering how it was not so long ago, it was ever debated whether owning assault weapons of massive destruction (or as some politicians state, “weapons of war” in the hands of citizens) should be a right of the people and considered an act of protecting personal freedoms. I foresee, 150 years from today, it will seem so evident how horrifically inhumane our present day gun laws are. The 2nd Amendment takes away society’s freedom by creating a sense of hysterical fear amongst its citizens. Sadly, I won’t be around in 150 years to watch this movie, but I do hope in my lifetime I will witness the end to routine random acts of violence and see a revision in our gun laws. I do not think what is happening today is what our forefather’s were considering in 1791 when voting into law the 2nd Amendment. I do not think we should wait another 221 years for change. Do you?

karl fredrik reutersward, nonviolence

 Karl Fredrik Reutersward’s Non-Violence in front of the United Nations Building, image courtesy of

Farrow_Skull_of_Santo_Guerro_III_-_2011_005_web2Al Farrow’s Skull of Santo Guerro (III), 2011. image courtesy of

What at first glance appears a stunningly beautiful sculpture of a cathedral upon closer inspection reveals it is crafted with guns and bullets. Al Farrow’s elaborately made sculptures of cathedrals, mosques, and synagogues from arsenal directly confront the viewer to consider the historical and continuing relationship between religion, war, and peace.

Beck Untitled (Daily over:under @close range w:.12)Robert Beck’s Untitled (Daily Over/Under@close range w/.12) 2002.

Obscurely and rather cryptically, Robert Beck’s art questions the meaning of guns in our society. guns, a symbol of manhood and sport, passed along through traditions and societal patterns–a rite to passage, one could say, leaving scars and wounds.

While many have written, blogged, and spoken out against the 2nd Ammendment, I would like to share this recent article, which I find to be well articulated. I always believe it is the smart questions that open up our perspective, as does Beverly Bander in the following article:

Al Farrow’s “Bell” made in 2012 from a steel drum and bullets for the Resounding Compassion: A concert for peace.

 I’ll punctuate with a little satirical humor from Matt Wueker.matt wuerker