May 6, 2013

Photo Update/NRA Annual Meeting '13: Guns in the Hands of Babes

Houston NRA exhibition 2

Looking at the Reuters’ edit, at least one visual story line is coming through strong and clear from the NRA’s annual meeting in Houston. That theme is how the industry is so encouraging guns in the hands of kids. The caption (see below) also highlights how much he NRA is targeting the female market. This lead shot is interesting in the way the girl looks away from the heavy weapon. If she’s interested but only just distracted, it highlights how much this is a grown up’s agenda.

Houston NRA exhibition 3

According to the caption, this girl is holding an “airsoft gun” on the NRA Exhibition’s “Youth Day.” I don’t actually think she is, but it seems like the girl is wearing cammo.

NRA convention exhibition Houston 4

Though these two are older, this photo immediately brought to mind last Monday’s tragic death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky at the hands of her 5-year-old brother using a “child’s rifle.” Is it that guns in America are always at hand?  And, could the LOVE sweatshirt be any more perfect?

…Also, maybe guns are really a boy’s thing after all.

NRA Houston gun exhibition 1

Call this the “Adam Lanza” variation on the story line, focusing on just a slightly older demographic. I’m sure, by the way, this moment is completely innocent, a cheap thrill  to these two exhibition goers, the guy playing bad ass for the mobile camera. As newswire fodder, however, it’s chillingly suggestive, playing out the nightmare scenario of any and every disaffected 18 – 25 year old male out there right this minute who’s seething, maybe about mom, or about women or just the world in general.

(photos: Adrees Latif/Reuters caption 1: A man shows a girl how to hold an airsoft gun during the NRA Youth Day at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Houston, Texas on May 5, 2013. The National Rifle Association is showcasing women members and emphasizing that increasingly it’s not just men who own firearms and oppose gun-control efforts. Female membership is up, the nation’s leading advocate for gun ownership says, and its revamped website features profiles of “armed and fabulous” women and describes how women are bringing “new energy” to the NRA. caption 3: Family members look at hand guns at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the site for the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Houston, Texas on May 4, 2013. caption 4: A woman uses a smart phone to photograph a young man holding a shotgun at an exhibit booth at the George R. Brown convention center, the site for the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual meeting in Houston, Texas May 5, 2013.)

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Michael Shaw
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