The doors had just opened on an exhibition about gun violence in Washington, DC. I glanced up at my installation: a large scale replica of our Declaration of Independence highlighting the “inalienable right to life” clause, behind a full scale American flag created from the names of mass shooting victims in the United States.
The flag was already rendered out of date by the mass shooting last weekend at the Gilroy Garlic Festival and now cell phones were buzzing. El Paso. Walmart. Lots of victims.
This madness must end. No more utterly useless “thoughts and prayers.” No more hand-wringing about how to curtail mental illness. When asked why he was shooting, the Gilroy perpetrator shouted, “Because I am really angry.”
We must deny angry people access to firearms.
We must uphold the right to life of schoolchildren and concertgoers, of families shopping for back-to-school items.
If we can’t do this, who are we as a nation?