I work in crowded spaces. From concerts to protests to parties to the streets, I spend most of my professional time in highly trafficked areas. I have worked in Afghanistan and people have asked me, “weren’t you scared?” I honestly felt safer overseas; I’m statistically more likely to get shot going about my life in Los Angeles. Yes, I had body armor and security when I worked in Afghanistan but I also maintained a level of vigilance that I am increasingly having to bring to my stateside work. I used to scan crowds for images I should take and occasionally police movement. I know that most of us now scan for safety. Nearly everyone I know has a connection to gun violence. Schools now have gun drills. There are metal detectors at many of the venues I work.
When I hear about another shooting I am in no way surprised. We should never be desensitized to gun violence. Not in our schools, not in our streets, and not in our spaces.
Our country’s relationship to guns is totally out of control. Our legislators, the gun lobby, and our nation’s lack of fighting it are creating an environment where mass shootings are the norm. The rhetoric around it is designed to win votes and money at the expense of lives and safety.
Answer your own prayers and call Congress – if your reps aren’t listening go vote them out in 2018 (for a lot of reasons).
The country is speaking out and fighting back – here’s what the People’s Rally Against Gun Violence looked like in Los Angeles on Monday.
Friendly reminder because this article features photographs of children: If you are ever photographing kids, make sure to ask their guardian whenever possible before taking the snap.