Pictures we saw from Boston; pictures we didn’t see from Sandy Hook

‘If you plant Ice, you’re gonna harvest wind’. Jerry Garcia, photo attributed to Carl Lender, creative commons license information here.

Over the last few days, we have been ‘treated’ to dozens of photographs of the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing–people who were seriously injured and covered with blood and gore being taken away on gurneys or given tourniquets to strap on limbs soon to be amputated. There were even photos of the blood-soaked concrete where the bombs were detonated. The pictures were absolutely horrifying and certainly inflammatory.

Why don’t we get photographs of this nature after one of our numerous mass murders? Why didn’t we see what those .223 rounds did to the young bodies at Sandy Hook or Aurora Colorado? There were surely big puddles of blood on the linoleum at Sandy Hook, but I didn’t see photos of them. Is it because such photographs would be inflammatory?

Michael Moore had written an essay on this last month, when the Boston terrorists were busy putting final touches on their secret plans. He calls up the 1955 case of Emmett Till, whose mother had an open-casket service for her son after Klansmen murdered him for the ‘crime’ of whistling at a white woman. The picture of Till’s disfigured head had a galvanizing effect on most Americans previously sitting on the fence regarding the plight of African Americans in the Southern United States. And that was sealed years later when America had its Bull Connor Moment.

There was widespread disgust at the Bush administration when photographers were banned from taking pictures of the coffins returning from Iraq at Dover AFB. And it’s easy to see why the administration didn’t want pictures: they didn’t want people to know the cost of the war in young Americans. And most Americans have never seen the pictures of the women and children killed and injured in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan–the costs of war on both sides–let alone the casualty figures. And we surely haven’t seen the pictures of our civilian Drone Strike victims.

By not showing us the carnage of the mass shootings at Aurora, Sandy Hook, the Sikh temple, and the street in Arizona where Jared Loughner nearly succeeded in taking Gabbie Gifford’s life, the MSM is helping to staunch the outrage we should have at the carnage guns cause. And by not showing us what our weapons do abroad, the MSM make it harder to talk about the carnage we inflict–carnage that will surely come back to us.

As the late Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia put it in his song Franklin’s Tower, ‘If you Plant Ice, you’re going to Harvest Wind’

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