by Françoise Mouly
Art (Spiegelman) posted a New Yorker cover he had done in 1993, nearly twenty years ago, with the following comment: "My wish for 2013: let Newtown be remembered as the turning point—I'm hoping that kids with guns can become ironic again."
As we entered the new year, the "kids with guns" image has been shared thousands of times, and has become a focal point for comments and debate. The back-and-forth is between those who share Art's simple wish, "No more!", and those who look at the image and see not a problem but the solution: let's put more weapons in the schools. Your thoughts? 
Would you feel safer if there were more weapons in schools? Let us know (because if you do, we may stay in Paris and not fly back to the US...)



01/06/2013 4:13am

Kids shouldn't have guns even virtual ones in computer games.
The two words weapons and school don't match.
I'm sure you agree with me , Françoise , that the image is disturbing.
No one will fee safer if there're any kinds of weapons in schools.

Fran├žoise Mouly
01/06/2013 10:46am

Yes, the image is disturbing, but no, neither images nor video games are the problem. Any sublimated way to channel agression is preferable to physical acting out. Banning 'violence' is impossible, but restricting access to killing machines is the only simple, clear guideline here.

01/07/2013 5:45am

Totally agree with you.
I didn't mean that images and video games are the problem but I just think that kids see violence everywhere and all the time. I like the way you called weapons 'killing machine', that's the perfect name and I'm sure a parent would think twice before agreeing to the presence of 'killing machines' in their children's schools.

Mary Anne Stanley
01/18/2013 10:14pm

When I saw this cover, I laughed, because it's such an excellent example of a strawman argument. I live in central Pennsylvania, where gun ownership is common, especially in areas where farms are still a frequent sight and deer are a blight on the grain crops. In Pennsylvania, a 12-year-old can get a hunting license, and many do, but the person holding that license must attend a hunter and gun safety course that gives him or her a healthy respect for what a gun can do and how to handle one safely. It's not a license for a child to own a gun, or carry one in an urban area or into a school.

My three daughters were taught target shooting by their dad, starting at age 11, and two of them lettered in it in high school, where it's a varsity sport. (There's a rifle range on school grounds for this purpose, but students don't bring weapons to school. They use school rifles. Try not to be horrified. People also understand about taking receivers out of rifles and locking them in gun safes here too.) Neither they nor their teammates have killed or injured anyone, although homeless shelters have gotten free venison because of the kids on the rifle team who hunt.

Kids who grow up around people who know guns well will learn three things first: every gun is loaded until you check it yourself; never point a gun at anyone; and keep your finger out of the trigger guard unless you mean to shoot. Point #3 is one that at least 3 of the children depicted on the cover have not mastered. They fail hunter safety, so they aren't going to be allowed to have firearms even where they'd be allowed to hunt.

Maybe in New York City, where a civilian isn't allowed to have a gun, people don't understand how this works, and so exaggeration looks like reality. Maybe New Yorkers don't have to understand. Not everywhere is New York. Not everywhere needs to be.


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