As a non-US citizen watching yet another parent interviewed after yet another gun massacre in the USA, I can only nod in impotent agreement as the tormented father of one of the victims, Richard Martinez, screams anguished questions at his own government, asking what has been done to prevent these repeated tragedies. The plain answer of course is : Nothing.
We have become aware of - almost immune to - the impact of gangs, guns and drugs on teenage boys in our communities. We turn the pages blithely as newspaper headlines scream of gang-related stabbings in Brixton, confused shootings in Tottenham... But girls? In gangs? Until now, it has barely crossed our minds. We like to think it doesn't happen.
If enough people take up the challenge, we might collectively achieve some "crowd-research" which might be useful to those who research the influence of depictions of guns and gun violence. Either way, it might stimulate much-needed debate about the casual normalisation of violence in our society.Whilst we hear much debate about whether gun violence in films or computer games can propel young men or boys (for they are almost always male) to commit mass murder or violence, we rarely hear about the effect of images on film posters.
Another mass shooting, more panic on the streets of America. The images we witnessed are all too familiar. There were heroic first responders, crouching and crawling with their rifles. We saw unfurling police tape and flashing blue lights and terror stricken civilians fleeing the since. And now in the aftermath, the discussions into the gunman's motives are being exhaustively debated.