June 2, 2014

The Santa Barbara Shooting Rampage … and How They're All Running Together

At this point in America’s cycle of violence, what’s more striking than anything is how much one attack looks like another. (That was the point of this Arapahoe/Sandy Hook study.)

That said, there were some different features to the events in Santa Barbara. Specifically, there was Richard Martinez’s public excoriation of guns and gun violence after his son’s death in the Isla Vista shooting rampage a week ago. And, perhaps legislation, at least at the state level, is a possibility, the “gun violence restraining order” hoping to mitigate the lethality when guns become the instrument of last resort for the mentally ill.

Otherwise, there is the sinking feeling — as the latest killing spree departs the news cycle — that were caught in a vicious and endless loop. If the debilitation is ultimately moral and social, it’s overwhelming character is ultimately visual and editorial. That being the case, I was drawn to these otherwise numbing and ritualistic photos.  The crime scene still taped and the blood barely dry, this extended LA Daily News photo gallery is subtly embedded with members of the media historicizing another driveway, lawn or storefront and ennobling another witness or survivor telling his or her tale.

From a victim’s father repeating his testament to a witness revivifying just the latest and most publicized act of American gun violence (1, 2) by modeling the weapon with her hands, unless some miraculous happens, we can only say … until next time.

(photo 1 & 3: Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Daily News caption: Richard Martinez, left, the father of slain student Christopher Martinez, is interviewed with family in a park in Isla Vista, Sunday, May 25, 2014.photo 2: Gene Blevins/LA Daily News caption: UCSB student Jacqueline Taylor talks to reporters about seeing the gunman of the drive-by shooting Friday night. Seven people are dead, including the attacker, and seven others wounded, authorities said Saturday. The gunman got into two gun battles with deputies Friday night in the beachside community of Isla Vista before crashing his black BMW into a parked car.caption 3: Taped off streets at El Embarcadero Road at the scene of Friday night’s shooting in Isla Vista, Saturday, May 24, 2014.)

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Michael Shaw
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