Slainte mhaith

One Thousand Words – St. Angelo and the hope of the last gun.

They say a picture is a thousand words. This written series will be an exhibit of some of my images accompanied by a thousand words. The photographs inspire the lines; hopefully something will inspire you. Thank you. Enjoy.

I call this piece “Saint Angelo and the hope of the last gun.” Around election time my brother, a friend, and I went to a gun range in the New Hampshire area. I must say I was in a great St. Angelo and the Hope of the Last Gun mood because elections, funny enough, are always around my birthday and the crisp New England air along with the changing fall foliage made for quite the nice drive. I was even happier when I found out I would be able to shoot some guns and let off some steam in a safe environment. So there I was feeling like a kid again on my way to enjoy some recreational aggression when I first started seeing the signs.

Now I have to admit I had been practicing my photography and art and making the change to becoming self-employed after teaching for a while, so I had not been out-of-state for some time. As we crossed state lines and began driving through New Hampshire, the smell was still amazing, but the sights made me feel a little nervous about the future and what we now know to be truth for our unfortunate presidency. The changing foliage and sprinkling to then apparent dominant theory that Trump was relevant and regaled in some parts was shocking if not amazing, but in a bad way. My jubilation to let off some daily stress rounds turned into even more anxiety and aggression at what was seemingly a possibility despite media coverage to the contrary. It was one of those moments in life that told me again media coverage is just opinion sometimes depending on the channel and you have to go to the source for the truth. Furthermore, you should provide yourself with ample coverage and that means travel whenever you can so you have more worldly context. If you know more, hopefully you’ll act better in a give situation.

That being said, I shot a couple of guns and it felt dope. When I first walked in the sounds alone shocked my body. Bang! Bbang! Loud. Boom! DuDush! Metal. Blaw Boom! I’ve always known guns are nothing to mess with and You feel the sensations in your brain and body, fear and excitement, vividly intermingling. The enormity of shells, the assortment of defense and flesh tearing apparatuses an experience to see for sure, but the memory definitely lies with shooting the guns and realizing their power. I shot a semi automatic weapon and that was insane. I shot more with the Glock pistol because that seemed more “regular” and I wanted to get comfortable with that grip and stance. Then for the birthday special they let me shoot some wild .500 caliber shell pistol. The first shot I tried I hit but damn if the kick back wasn’t crazy. Things you think know about before you actually try to have a slight idea. Safeties, handling, proper stance, aim, recoil, loading bullets, loading the clip, discharging the clip, and then just using the gun properly, all things you should definitely get familiar with if you want to own a gun. Get your proper paperwork legit and I say go for it if you want one. From what I saw in New Hampshire, a lot of people like their guns.

The birthday gun range trip really made me think about guns and my stance on them. When you get to the gun range, you pick out all the stuff you are going to use such as guns, bullets and choice of targets. They have a couple different kinds and the art piece depicted was one of them, an old school gangster type in my opinion in black and white with relevant gun range markings. So I took that target and I did what You see. The whole time shooting the guns I couldn’t help but feel how horrible it would feel to get shot. At that moment I honestly thought I didn’t want to ever shoot someone unless that situation was somehow thrust upon me, but moreover it boggled my mind how some people even think this is the first and best option of dealing with someone. I think my brain envisioned a day when the last gun used against someone improperly was somehow silenced and the last villain wielding it somehow sanctified for being the last vestige of criminal ballistic violence. I don’t really see the need for guns except for war. We should take active steps not to engage in war unless it is a necessity. I’ve never minded combat as a reality, it’s the senseless violence that gets to me or people feeling lesser so they buy more devastating power and use it against someone instead of building up their own skill set and fortitude. Armies should have guns not people. And while I hope my art piece sparks some thought, I know that gun laws and gun violence won’t change unless there is a true organized effort on all parts of our society to rid ourselves of the elements and behavior.

I use St. Angelo as an imaginary depiction because it would be a holy day if random gun violence were ever to stop. We hear of stories everyday and feel for the tragic deaths by the hands of overt nonsense or anger. I just wonder what would happen if the government and the people set their minds to ridding society of this unnecessary evil. It would be weird at first for those that do own a gun, but I have never carried a gun. I know this is also a point of contention for many and it’s definitely in our constitutional rights to bear arms, but unless you are actively in battle or hunting or on a protective force, I don’t see the point to having one. One could argue that fewer guns and more restrictions could lead to a decline in violence and related deaths. Of course, only time practice and effort would see if this could be the case.

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