Photos had power

I was thirteen and vividly remember the news coverage and especially the photos in this issue of Life. I also vividly remember the massacre at Jackson State about the same day but alas, there were no skilled photographers on hand and it slipped from the public memory quickly as a lot of the massacres in the South did, and still do. But Kent State was beautifully photographed in a time when photographs had an impact that they don’t today. We remember those times and we hear the music, the famous voices, and the photographs. It was a simpler time. And if you spend a minute looking at the details of this cover photo—this issue of Life was on coffee tables and supermarket stands all across America that week—you can feel the emotions welling up, the outrage and sadness, and get a hint of what so many Americans felt seeing this in 1970. Photos had power. Nowadays not so much. Digital cameras can take so many photographs they overwhelm us. Few stick in our mind. There are no school massacre photos that everyone vividly remembers. The details of the dead students just become statistics, numbers. The photos of Kent State and My Lai are iconic. If only there were photos of the victims of school shootings and mass murders that were iconic now. They’d have political power. And we’d have much stricter laws on assault weapons, not just thoughts and prayers.

Last rites.

5 thoughts on “Photos had power

  1. So, even more emotional reaction, instead of applying reason. Further restrictions on so-called ‘assault weapons’ won’t do any good. They are responsible for <1% of gun deaths, and denying a killer one type of weapon will not deter them from simply using another.


      • Well, aside from lacking your knowledge of the thesaurus, my answer was dead on accurate. You look at pictures of dead children on school grounds torn apart by your beloved AR-15s and your first thoughts are of the Second Amendment. There are millions of your kind, though in general they don’t spell as well. There are many, many more of my kind though, and in a generation or so demographics will have turned the issue our way as voters turn blue and arch conservative justices finally age and die. I’ll be long gone, but the numbers are with us,. In any case, you’ll win the next several rounds of this debate because I won’t be participating. I don’t enjoy debate for its own sake. But your responses, if any, will all be approved and visible should anyone ever bother to look, because I’m a sucker for the First Amendment even on a personal blog, and you seem to write well, besides.

        Otherwise, take care. Sorry we disagree so fervently. And thanks for reading the post.


      • Where we differ is, whereas you want something, anything done to make you feel better, I want solutions that actually work.

        FTR, although I’ve shot them, I’m not particularly fond of ARs. Also, I made no mention of the 2nd Amendment.

        Liked by 1 person

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