Watching the debate between the two presidential candidates a couple of days ago, I once again noticed how every breathing person, running for an elected office in this country, goes to great lengths to avoid making aggressive anti-gun statements. To the best of my understanding, the National Rifle Association is nothing to be messed with, and you don’t want to make enemies of them –whether you read 2nd amendment for breakfast every morning or cringe at the sight of guns.
Ever since I came to this country a year ago, there have been so many shootings that I felt constantly confused about the gun situation in US. Okay, things are different here and I understand “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” I do not claim to be an expert of what these words mean, but from the little I have read, I understand that this law is supposed to provide means for personal self-defense.
But, Orlando nightclub shooting and many other shootings were clearly as far from self-defense as possible; And looking at the number of people killed and injured made me question how many lives the guns saved by making self-defense possible and if that number came anywhere close to the damage uncontrolled ownership of these weapons did.
Briefly thinking about this, I realized that a lot of details and factors go into trying to understand and evaluate this situation. Maybe I didn’t have a whole lot of them, maybe this matter was much complex. But, the truth was undeniably clear: US had a huge gun problem.
While going through my old images on my computer, I came across a wonderful painting I had saved a couple of months ago. The painting was “The Survivor” by Rene Magritte.
With US gun situation on my mind, I immediately saw how well the surrealist’s painting represented it for me. As the image shows, the rifle is an old one - so well representing how old America’s gun problem is. The gun fits so well in the room – its color even matches that of the wallpaper and the floor tiles. The only detail of the gun that fails to fit in its surroundings, is the pool of blood it has produced. The blood drips down from the rifle, revealing its true, pale, morbid color. It makes one think – if this weapon, so unchanged even after nobody remains to clean up the blood of pool it has created, is the only survivor after all.