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Martial Intimacies: The Gun and Everyday Militarism

Could there be any more dispiriting topic than that of the gun? A topic veering between devastating personal histories, “shoot first” laws and arrogant entitlements, and weak pronouncements about sensible gun control?

The Armed Individual, Black Life, and the Race for New Social Worlds

This year, the Supreme Court will announce yet another decision regarding the Second Amendment, likely continuing a right-wing crusade toward a perilous legal regime. This crusade’s agenda, cloaked in references to the country’s “history and tradition,” involves determining the constitutionality of firearm regulations based on whether a contemporary gun law can be justified by the existence of historical analogs.

Two Observations on Early Origins of the Western: Pressure Studies

Lit in silhouette, a bubble is suspended from a short rod, filling most of a vignetted black-and-white frame. Immediately a solid form enters from the left, headed directly for the delicate sphere. The contour of this smaller round is irregular. Excreted from an unseen ejector, its stuttered trail reveals it traveled faster, thus farther, between film frames than was captured, but not by much.

Stray Bullets

She died instantaneously. While trying on clothes, a bullet pierced her chest. Her mother was with her in the dressing room at a Burlington Coat Factory in North Los Angeles. The bullet was a 5.56mm, shot from an M16.

Fortune and Fear: Samuel Colt’s Revolver and Cyclical Violence

A bloodbath spins across a sprawling field on the engraved barrels of the .44 bore Walker, .31-caliber Pocket Revolver and .44 Dragoon model Colt revolvers. Rendered in their military finest by Waterman L. Ormsby (Samuel Colt’s frequent artistic collaborator) a squadron of Euro-American dragoons are mid-charge with smoking revolvers in hand, taking aim at their Comanche adversaries.


In the summer of 2023, I was standing on the southwest corner of 47th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan with two individuals—both of whom, as unaccompanied immigrant children (UICs), walked from the “Northern Triangle” in Central America at different times to cross the southern border into Texas.


Horrific and yet strangely beautiful. I’m interested in showing what the results are. This is what it looks like. This is what preparation for self-defense looks like. If you want to be good at this, this is what the data is. This is what my data is, to show you all that I’m good at this. It’s not just about a bull’s-eye; I’m giving you information about my emotional state and my composure.

Visual Ballistics

In 2016, Apple replaced the design of its “gun” emoji. Banished from keyboards and screens worldwide was the gray revolver; in its place was a fluorescent green squirt pistol. Other platforms followed suit. For some, the switch amounted to censorship.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2023

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