Time Magazine’s Guns in America – an In-depth Analysis of the Conversation

by Karen Butler, President SLG2, Inc DBA: SLG2 Consulting DBA: Shoot Like A Girl

Time Magazine’s Guns in America – an In-depth Analysis of the Conversation
Time Magazine’s Guns in America – an In-depth Analysis of the Conversation: All Images used with permission and property of Time Magazine X JR Photo shoot.

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- I had the great fortune of being included in “Time” magazine’s Guns in America, recently nominated for an Emmy. This feature used 245 people, their pictures and their words, mine included, to start a discussion about the gun issue.

The artist, JR, captured all of our pictures and put them together in a mural that is now touring the country and was the fold-out cover of this special edition of “TIME.” Then, they recorded our own statements of what we thought about guns; with no coaching of what to say, and unedited.

The intent was to hear from both sides of the gun issue: why people are pro-gun and/or why people are anti-gun. But, did anyone really listen to all of the voices? I did, because I was curious if there was some common ground in the depth of the discussion. In my opinion, there is one main common denominator, fear. Fear from pro-gun people that they will be victims of violent crime, and fear of anti-gun people who fear they will be victims of violent crime.

In my analysis, the clear issue is violent crime, especially in economically depressed communities.

As I charted the participants’ statements, I found three main themes: Pro-Gun participants are focused on safe, responsible gun use; Anti-Gun participants are very organized in their talking points; and the biggest takeaway I had, was learning of the conditions some of our fellow Americans live in each and every day. I also heard the participants speak of fear. On all sides of the discussion, there appeared a common sentiment of fear, as some participants recounted horrific stories of violent crime. I wish people could listen to the stories – strip out the anti-gun/pro-gun dialogue and hear the real discussion of underserved communities.

Karen Butler, President SLG2 and The artist, JR
Karen Butler, President SLG2 and The artist, JR. All Images used with permission and property of Time Magazine X JR Photo shoot.

The harsh reality is that our country needs to find economic solutions to neighborhoods where Emeara Burns, 20-years old, from St. Louis Story Stitchers explains, “It’s survival of the fittest.” She asks for us, “as a people,” to do better, care more and think better about ourselves and others. It is unfortunate that the discussions continue to be about the symptom of violence, instead of finding solutions for our underserved communities.

Time Magazine’s Guns in America Pick Sides
Time Magazine’s Guns in America Pick Sides

In truth, I am an advocate for gun safety, as well as being pro-gun, pro-2nd Amendment and law abiding. However, this didn’t make me biased against listening to what people said. “Time” recorded 245 people’s statements (unedited). You can listen for yourself at https://time.com/guns-in-america/, below is my interpretation of what they said.

Time Magazine’s Guns in America Karen Butler, President SLG2 Final Image
Time Magazine’s Guns in America Karen Butler, President SLG2 Final Image, All Images used with permission and property of Time Magazine X JR Photo shoot.

The participants who were pro-gun commented on the ability to keep themselves and their family protected from “evil.” Dianna Mueller, a police officer and competitive shooter, sums up the majority of the pro-gun comments. Diana talks about being your own first responder, guns being a great equalizer for women, hunting for food and being responsible gun owners. She also talks about the frustrations of being part of the gun community who is bullied and censored when the industry is promoting safety, safe storage and youth education through the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The participants who were anti-gun are organized and very deliberate in their talking points. One young man, Emiliano Calvo Alcaniz, 17-years old, is a member of a student organization, “Students Against Gun Violence,” and helps with StudentsMarch.org. He opens his dialogue with a statement that they deliberately chose the words for the name of their club as “Against Gun Violence” because, as he stated, people can’t argue for gun violence, but they can argue against gun control. However, if you listen to his entire conversation, his group’s agenda is to rally for gun control. The other key theme of the anti-gun participants was fear for their own safety.

A common talking point, stated by nearly 15% of the anti-gun participants, blamed organizations who represent gun owners and promote education and safe responsible gun use and storage. Additionally, anti-gun participants were made up of mostly youth (ages 7 to 25). Of the anti-gun participants, 58% were youth between the ages of 7 to 25, compared to only 14% of pro-gun participants being between the ages of 10 to 25.

I was most impacted by hearing stories from St. Louis. There are several stories from an organization called the St. Louis De-escalation Centers. This organization helps people resolve individuals’ conflicts without violence. I encourage you to listen to the words of Joy Camp, Joe Robinson, James Clark and Carl Smith. They talk about how some youth, and particularly in St. Louis, black youth have generations of violence, and aren’t taught how to resolve conflict over the littlest of issues – such as tennis shoes. They have been successful in their efforts to prevent gun violence. Words from members of St. Louis Story Stitchers, where Emeara Burns mentioned previously are from, really opened my eyes to the hardships youth in underserved communities face. I agree with Emeara: “We as a Nation, we as a people, just have to do better by supporting each other and providing for each other.”

I hope Guns in America wins the Emmy, more people listen to the statements of the participant, and will agree, the problem is not guns in America; the problem is violence and crime in America, and especially in her most economically deprived communities. I don’t have the solution, but we must properly define the real problem of violent crime to find a solution, or we will never “do better.”

For more pictures from the making of this iconic installation please visit: https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/65WvQV

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    FinnkyWild BillgsteeleHeed the Call-upJustista Recent comment authors
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    gsteele
    Member
    gsteele

    I don’t want an AR-15. I don’t want it because it looks cool. I don’t want it because it looks like, but is not, a weapon of war. I don’t want it because I want to feel like Rambo – I never carried one in the service; I’m Garand era. I don’t want it because it’s black. I don’t want it because anti-gunners don’t want me to have it. I don’t want it because it was once banned, so it makes me badass to have it. I don’t want it because I plan to commit mass murder. I don’t want… Read more »

    Justista
    Member
    Justista

    Anyone who is familiar with Time magazine’s stand on firearm ownership isn’t expecting fair treatment or representation in this upcoming article.

    Agostino
    Member
    Agostino

    Until we address and correct the underlying problem, the existence of a lawless, hopeless underclass, we cannot reduce crime. I keep hearing comments to the effect that these people place no value on human life. Missing is the reality that they place no value on their own lives. Bad schools, horrible living conditions, no wonder people use drugs to escape. We may have lost most of a generation of young inner city dwellers permanently. I realize all the easy answers are already taken. But the grandstanding by some politicians, like Pelosi and Schumer, about “gun control” is less than helpful.

    Whatzit
    Member
    Whatzit

    “I had the great fortune of being included in “Time” magazine’s Guns in America, recently nominated for an Emmy. This feature used 245 people, their pictures and their words, mine included, to start a discussion about the gun issue.” Discussion?? What’s to discuss?? The second amendment is quite clear. We are endowed by our Creator with the right to arms – to keep them (that is, to possess them) and to bear them (that is to carry them on our person). There is no discussion. The only possible discussion would be to try to convince us (keepers and bearers) to… Read more »

    cav2108
    Member
    cav2108

    You should start a new column called, “Write like a leftist liberal”.

    Idaho Bob
    Member
    Idaho Bob

    Who has controlled the majority of US cities for the last 50-70 years? The leftist democrats. If you want the cities to be healed, and most of us do, then something needs to be changed. We’ve all heard Einstein’s theory of insanity, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. Guns aren’t the problem. For the last 50 plus years we’ve tried social justice over and over again to no avail. How about we stop acting insane and do something different. Instead of pumping money hand over fist into the cities as has been done… Read more »

    Wild Bill
    Member
    Wild Bill

    @IB, Confining this comment to the efforts of the leftist democrats that have controlled the cities for the past 50-70 years, they know that a sucker is born every minute.
    As to the bring back the jobs part … that promise is what got Romney defeated.
    Oh, and I liked the rest of you comment, too.

    Bluemax
    Member
    Bluemax

    Our Leftists in Government are not pushing gun control for the protection of the people! All you need to do is look at their moral views. This is to divide and control us. Look at the big money backers of Gun Control, Climate Change, Health Care and Abortion. It is only under the guise of these conditions. It’s only common sense, that laws are made to control law abiders. I wish it were about the safety of the American people.

    Jeff
    Member
    Jeff

    It really helps to understand the other side. Lack of education and out-and-out propaganda contribute greatly to the fear of firearms. A lack of reason – blaming inanimate things for the actions people chose – is perhaps the biggest part of the problem.

    Imagine not knowing one law-abiding gun owner. Imagine the only people you know (or know of) who have guns are criminals. Imagine you hear nothing but anti-gun propaganda day after day.

    Doc
    Member
    Doc

    I agree that a part of the ant-gun movement is because of fear. They think that banning or outright confiscation is the panacea to this problem. They tend to think all gun owners are potential murderers. Those of us in the burbs do not see the unprovoked violence of the inner cities and quite frankly avoid the issue, staying out of those areas. I want the right to defend myself with my carry pistol. I’m too young to die and I’m too old to take a beating. I will not surrender my weapons so that inner city youth can feel… Read more »

    Finnky
    Member
    Finnky

    @Doc – Agree, except that it in not so much the inner city youth who want to feel safe – but the suburban youth who have bought into a myth of daily school shootings and have become terrified thereof. Unfortunately today’s helicopter parenting soccer mom’s have jumped on that wagon lending numbers, money and activism to opposing basic human rights. Of course they see us as opposing human rights, so it is tough to find a middle ground without open discussion and education. We have to find ways to reach their “feelings” to win – not denigrate them for fighting… Read more »

    Vern
    Member
    Vern

    I see two key words in this article, ‘fear, education.’ Fear of guns comes about because their is little or no education of those who own guns and are law abiding citizens who leave others alone and enjoy their sport, verses those who have guns they have stolen or bought illegally and those who have guns bought legally who shouldn’t have them. The media only presents the idea that those who own guns are all criminals waiting for the moment to use their guns for terrorizing people. They never present the truth that guns are used more for stopping crime… Read more »

    Gdubb
    Member
    Gdubb

    It is good to see at least some of the mainstream media is beginning to look objectively at this. I agree with Karen. The liberal politicians in particular keep saying we have to “do better”, however, their only solution ideas so far have included the removal of Constitutionally protected rights, which only fuels the flames of conservative Americans. I remember hearing of several ideas to make schools safer, none of which involve gun control – yet – those ideas went nowhere since the left is so hell-bent on confiscation. It really makes you wonder if the left truly wants to… Read more »

    Green Mtn. Boy
    Member
    Green Mtn. Boy

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    The language is clear,there is no conversation/dialog needed.

    Jeff
    Member
    Jeff

    The problem is not caused by firearms. An inanimate object does not decide to murder someone.

    But I think this misses the point. How can responsible gun owners help reduce the number of crimes committed using a firearm?

    Heed the Call-up
    Member
    Heed the Call-up

    Jeff, why is it you believe “we” firearm owners are responsible for criminal behavior? What is it you believe we are doing to cause criminals to break laws? I don’t know any criminals, so I am not sure what “I” am supposed to do to convince them to be “responsible citizens”. As far as crime rates, we know that they have decreased as the number of firearms has increased, along with the increase in CC and Constitutional carry. So I am perplexed about what you believe “we” are or are not doing that causes criminal behavior, and how “we” have… Read more »

    gsteele
    Member
    gsteele

    By being as well-armed as they are and taking them out one-by-one until the few remaining decide on a different career.

    Wild Bill
    Member
    Wild Bill

    @Jeff, You ask, “How can responsible gun owners help reduce the number of crimes committed using a firearm?” Kill them comes to mind.

    Finnky
    Member
    Finnky

    @Jeff – as a responsible gun owner, my wife and I taught our children empathy, respect and care for their fellow human beings and basic common sense. When they’ve been willing I’ve taught them gun safety and how to shoot and care for their equipment. Have also taught them negotiation skills and other techniques to escape dangerous situations – but more important how to avoid such situations in the first place. I pay taxes which go to support law enforcement, who are tasked with rooting out evil doers – which hopefully decreases criminal activity. I do my part to deter… Read more »

    Whatzit
    Member
    Whatzit

    Thank you! There is absolutely NOTHING that needs to be discussed about the second amendment!

    Autsin Miller III
    Member
    Autsin Miller III

    Thanks for carrying the torch for the 2A community. I sincerely hope your efforts and your words aren’t edited to present a position you do not hold or condone. We need folk like yourself that will be a rational, honest voice just as we need the firebrands that keep the hard left on their heels. Thanks again.