Art Made of Guns and Ammo Urges Us to Explore Our Complex Relationship With Firearms

“One Less Gun” uses bullet-portraits and decommissioned assault rifles to make a powerful statement about violence.

There is a certain chilling ubiquity about gun violence that affects us all. Even those who have never owned, held, or seen a firearm in person are exposed on an alarmingly regular basis to images and stories describing the effects these weapons have on individuals, communities, and countries around the globe. It is that relationship between guns as they exist in the world, and guns as they appear throughout mass media that is at the heart of a new series of works from artist Carl McCrow, which blurs “medium” and “message” to spur conversation on the role–and impact–of firearms in our lives.

One Less Gun,” open through September 6 at London’s Gallery@Oxo, consists of pieces created entirely out of guns themselves, as well as the ammunition they use. McCrow began exploring the use of weaponry as protest art after a close friend serving in the British armed forces lost multiple limbs while in the line of duty. “The exhibition,” explains a press release from McCrow, “is not about whether you like guns or dislike guns, it’s about the simple fact that there are too many and 1,000 people a day are dying as a result of them. Like it or not, guns are a part of popular culture and are integral to many of our favourite games and films are in all likelihood to remain so for many generations to come.”

The series features canvases made entirely of bullets:

Sculptures created from ammo and empty casings:

And decommissioned AK47’s, perhaps the world’s most recognizable gun:

Per the release:

“McCrow’s aim is to create a provocative and totally captivating experience that challenges the military machine, its output and devastating impacts.”

In addition to the artwork itself, McCrow is active in the “Gun Neutral” campaign, which works with filmmakers to ensure that, for every firearm shown onscreen in a movie, a real-life weapon will be destroyed in its place. Partnering with McCrow on the effort is none other than legendary director Martin Scorsese, whose upcoming film Tomorrow, which tells the story of a soldier returning home from war in Afghanistan, will launch the initiative.

[via konbini, all images used with permission via Carl McCrow]

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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The Planet

The healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom couldn't be more different.

The UK's National Health Service is the largest government-run healthcare system in the world and the US's is largest private sector system.

Almost all essential health services in the UK are free, whereas in America cost can vary wildly based on insurance, co pays and what the hospitals and physicians choose to charge.

A medical bill in the US

One of the largest differences is cost. The average person in the UK spends £2,989 ($3915) per year on healthcare (most of which is collected through taxes), whereas the average American spends around $10,739 a year.

So Americans should obviously be getting better care, right? Well, the average life expectancy in the UK is higher and infant mortality rate is lower than that in the US.

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Plus, in the U.S., only 84% of people are covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Sixteen percent of the population are forced to pay out of pocket.

In the UK, everyone is covered unless they are visiting the country or an undocumented resident.

Prescription drugs can cost Americans an arm and a leg, but in the UK, prescriptions or either free or capped at £8.60 ($11.27).

via Wikimedia Commons

The one drawback to the NHS system is responsiveness. In the UK people tend to wait longer for inessential surgeries, doctor's appointments, and in emergency rooms. Whereas, the US is ranked as the most responsive country in the world.

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The New York Times printed a fair evaluation of the UK's system:

The service is known for its simplicity: It is free at the point of use to anyone who needs it. Paperwork is minimal, and most patients never see a bill. … No one needs to delay medical treatment until he or she can afford it, and virtually everyone is covered. …

According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States spent 17.2 percent of its economic output on health care in 2016, compared with 9.7 percent in Britain. Yet Britain has a higher life expectancy at birth and lower infant mortality.

Citizens in each country have an interesting perspective on each other's healthcare systems. UK citizens think it's inhumane for Americans have to pay through the nose when they're sick or injured. While Americans are skeptical of socialist medicine.

A reporter from Politics Joe hit the streets of London and asked everyday people what they think Americans pay for healthcare and they were completely shocked.

via Found Animals Foundation / Flickr

Service dogs are true blessings that provide a wide array of services for their owners based on their disability.

They can provide preventative alerts for people with epilepsy and dysautonomia. They can do small household tasks like turning lights on and off or providing stability for their owners while standing or walking.

For those with PTSD they can provide emotional support to help them in triggering situations.

However, there are many people out there who fraudulently claim their pets are service or emotional support animals. These trained animals can cause disturbances in businesses or on public transportation.

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