This week I was deeply affected by the news story of the killings in Santa Barbara, California – another human tragedy for six young, innocent people and their families and friends and for the US and their gun laws. How did a gun and over 400 rounds of ammunition come to be in the hands of a young person who both the press and his immediate family have described as vulnerable? More recent reports from US authorities state that he had three legally-owned handguns with him at the time of carrying out the drive-by shootings.
As well as showing us a heart- wrenching display of a father’s pain in response to losing his son, this piece of video is a sad indictment of the US gun laws in the state of California. This is what the father of one of the victims, Christopher Martinez, had to say about the recent shooting incident which claimed the life of his son:
There’s nothing much I can add to that – a grieving father of one of the victims says it all for me.
‘Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA.’
I started this blog over 18 months ago, wondering whether it was possible (or not) to maintain it at the same time as managing to continue to create work. Recently, I’ve been thinking about how important it feels to me as an artist to maintain an interest in the world around me. Can I maintain a blog and continue to create art at the same time as being aware of what’s going on socially and politically?
My Nana often used to say to me, ‘You can’t take on the responsibilities of the world.’ But you can, if you choose, be aware of what’s going on in it. If my creative work is to continue to concern itself with celebrating and reflecting the wonders of life and humanity, then I have to confront the human condition in all its varying states. Bad things happen; tragedies such as the above are sadly, not unique and point to a real need for ongoing campaigns for change in the world around us.
RIP All the victims of yet another senseless act of gun violence, Santa Barbara, CA. May 2014