Posted by: sunflowersandcedartrees | November 16, 2012

A Response to the “Hidden Life of Guns”

 

After reading “Hidden Life of Guns” , an investigative piece by the Washington Times, I was blown away. I encourage everyone to go and read the piece, which takes a new look into how firearms fall into the hands of those who intend to misuse them. Though it’s topic is a broad one, it spends substantial time on one example crime, creating human interest that leads you through the story.

It focuses mainly on the Realco Gunstore in Maryland, which is by far the highest on the charts for the sale of “crime guns”. The story has more than it’s share of facts and figures to back up their accusations, but that wasn’t what kept me reading, what kept me listening, learning, and shaking my head in sorrow at some points. The Times is careful not to make this into some cold hard piece about numbers. It’s about the people, the victims of these guns which by all legal laws shouldn’t be in the hands of the perpetrators. They use human appeal, opening their story with the words of a woman who’s brother was hunted and gunned down by Erik Dixon, the uncle of his unborn child who’s baby shower they’d all just celebrated. Because of his past offenses Dixon shouldn’t have had that gun, but it was bought for him by his girl friend at the time who, though she wasn’t charged in relation to the murder, knew that she was doing something illegal in buying the handgun picked out by Dixon.

The Washington Times goes into great depth, showing photos of the crime scene and actual clips from Dixon’s interrogation with the police. From there they branch out – showing the protesting against Realco, and giving many people their say on how gun sale and ownership should be handled.  All of this is in their opening videos, but they’ve created a multiplatform site for the issue. Also on display is an interactive map-story which shows the type and quantity of discovered crime guns. And when you’re done with the first article, the Times have curated links to over a dozen other related ones.  They’ve gone to great lengths to draw the reader in to learn more and more about the issue. You’re left concerned, with your head buzzing full of thoughts and feelings, proof that they’ve succeeded in presenting their story.

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