Welcome to Chatting the Pictures. Every two weeks, we present a short, lively video discussion between Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer, professor, and historian, Cara Finnegan, examining a significant picture in the news. Chatting the Pictures is produced by Liliana Michelena.
Mark Abramson took this photograph for the New York Times. It shows visitors and attendees at the National Rifle Association convention in Houston, Texas, on May 28, 2022. Three days before, a gunman in nearby Uvalde, Texas, used an AR-15 to kill 21 people at an elementary school. A month later, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a New York gun safety law requiring a license to carry a concealed weapon in public.
In the video, we discuss how the photograph’s tone reflects the gun organization’s aggressiveness and the growing backlash against its politics and impact on civil society. We also highlight symbolic parallels to recent mass shootings and the way elements of the photo reflect gaps in the law and expressions of hate.
You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.