Know The Barrel for peace


Knot The Barrel For Peace
Knot The Barrel For Peace

Another day, another insane case of gun violence in America. It’s another day, in this new week, where we weep our way through another resolution, another press conference, another news cycle. It’s all too familiar.

The sight of mothers crying is all too familiar, as is the imagery of yellow tape, of murderous manifestos and sinister social media postings. The grainy video, pulled from closed circuit cameras and prefaced with the warning that it’s content is NSFW, is in steady rotation. Who’s on first. What’s on third. Where was the latest gun tragedy.

A nation of bullets and blueberry pie. A nation of beauty. A nation at a crossroad that intersects people, politics, pistols and polarity. It’s a conversation on speed dial, that’s hashed out over coffee and coffins, in every corner of America, from shell shocked suburbs to the south side of every city. Every time I comb my hair, thoughts of guns gets in my eyes.

The risk is that we’ll get desensitized to the tragedy that results from people pulling back the trigger of a gun. The risk is that our resoluteness, in the unalienable right to posses guns, will trump our humanity and truthfully, we’re on that road now.

Our moral compass has a clear north and south in many a instance, and yet, a nation of people that thank god after sport triumphs and billboard awards, can’t come together when it’s most needed. Cloaking chalk lined bodies, with the shabby rhetoric of political action committees, pandering and fabric that doesn’t speak to human decency, can’t be the legacy of upholding constitutional rights.

I'm an urban hero to many
I’m an urban hero to many…which is part of the problem

The classic imagery of a Tommy Gun, Tony Montana and the vigilante’s 357 Magnum, gets a lot of air-time, and as a nation that heartily embraces branding and consumes imagery, a counter-balance image, that speaks to anti-gun violence, is needed. The art piece Double Guns, by the artist Ringo Starr is a great place to start. Yes, I’m talking about that Ringo. It makes all the sense in the world. In fact, the real question is who besides Ringo?

Mr. Starr is a peace ambassador; he was the heartbeat of the world’s most famous band, otherwise known as The Beatles, and also an international icon of two fingers in the air that make the letter “V.” Mr. Ringo Starr rises effortlessly above the muck and mud flinging, that accompanies every conversation about gun-violence and access to guns.

Peace & Love and Yellow Submarines
Peace & Love and Yellow Submarines

The theme of peace bears witness in the visual art of Ringo Starr and is a representation of his long life, that’s been guided by principals of love and non-violence. His Pop-Art “Double Guns” piece, is symbolic of the very basic resolve, to halt the death knell of gun-violence, by simply putting a knot in the barrel. That’s the magic.

That’s how Americans love iconography; fresh, feisty and figurative. In a # world, where fandom sprouts from the inane as well as the inner good, next on deck to represent our common humanity, in the face of the inhumanity spawned by guns and bullets, is a pop-art iconography that’s universally digestible.

Double Guns should be painted on every visible wall, where gun violence has claimed victims. Double Guns should be painted in every alley where a bullet waits in the chamber of a handgun. Double Guns should be painted in every school where gun-violence is not the norm, because increasingly, gun-violence in schools is becoming the new norm.

It should be stenciled onto sidewalks and “muralized” on outdoor pieces from Bushwick to Art Basel. It’s high time to embrace all the action, energy, conversation, and goodwill, related to anti-gun violence, and let the Double Guns project our collective voice on the matter.

Iena Cruz
Iena Cruz

With organizations like Walk of Art, a walking art tour and art education program for kids, the art experience gets democratized, by stepping outside of the gallery and into the public space, while also exposing neighborhood youth to murals and giving them the tools to create their own art.

Its Double Guns, as pop-art, anti-gun message and mural, that would be a worthy and needed addition to the ever growing landscape of street art across the five boroughs of New York City and a reflection of the Walk Of Art’s mission, which is to expose, educate and teach in the street art arena.

Viva Revolution!
Vive La Revolution!

Diego Rivera, the famous artist who led the Mexican Mural Movement, used murals to communicate political messages that he felt passionately about. In that same sense, Ringo Starr’s Double Guns has a message, but it isn’t a message steeped in political ideology, but in the embrace of our shared humanity. It’s a message whose time has come and is needed now, more than ever.

It could be time for tattooist to get good at Double Guns, because they might start getting requests. Mr. Starr’s work is represented by Soho Contemporary Art.

Richard Burroughs

It's variations on my name, but it's the same human. I'm Richard Chandler Burroughs, novelist (A Rendezvous With Destiny) and blogger (Uncontrollable Urges). Richard Burroughs as a marketing strategist,...

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  1. The gun situation is bonkers. Absolutely. Those killed and the families grieving for them represent the exclamation point at the end of a long, boldly underlined sentence describing decades long societal failures.

    Art can help cure, that’s for sure, but like everything else, root causes are numerous and solving this issue will take a lot of creativity and rewriting. Until we can offer each gun owner – legal or not – $100,000 for each gun they turn in and some sort of outrageous incentive to stop using, manufacturing, stockpiling, etc., these issues will persist.

    They’re such a deeply ingrained part of our country’s fabric and it will take a pair of sky high shears to cut them out.

  2. Tks for joining/adding to this highly sensitive convo Rich! Great commentary and tie in with the power of imagery/art and how it influences our consciousness. Your 3rd paragraph is brilliant perfection that calls direct attention for real solutions in cities like Chicago, Detroit and Newtown, CT.

    “A nation of bullets and blueberry pie. A nation of beauty. A nation at a crossroad that intersects people, politics, pistols and polarity. It’s a conversation on speed dial, that’s hashed out over coffee and coffins, in every corner of America, from shell shocked suburbs to the south side of every city. Every time I comb my hair, thoughts of guns gets in my eyes.”

  3. I love the idea of the double gun painted at sites of gun violence. It reminds me of the white bicycles placed everywhere a biker has been killed. Powerful idea. America has a love affair with guns unlike any other nation in this world. Not sure we can resolve the issue until NRA and gun manufacturers come on board to help. And exactly how are all these guns getting into our kids hands???

  4. It’s to the point where nothing is getting done and people are consistently being killed. Perhaps it’s the iconography of knotted gun barrels, created by an artist as irreproachable as Ringo Starr, to shed light on situation and like the “ghost bikes”, in NYC, these guns would commemorate gun violence sites, but can also be a precautionary marker. Access to guns is a big part, but it’s a host of other factors, some of which I’ve discussed previously in my column here on The Brooklyn Reader. SOMETHING needs to happen, that much I’m sure of.

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