Not again. This is too much.

Those are my exact thoughts every time I hear about another school shooting across the country. I saw the most powerful man in the nation—the world, for that matter—break down in tears after a school shooting. I was scared for friends at UCLA who were in lockdown when there was a gunman on campus. And more than anything else, this is a tragedy that is far out of my control.

Chairs and desks in a classroom
The final product.

I began my DIY on gun control trying to do something with making dead schoolchildren into the shape of a gun. Then trying to make them into bullets. Then trying to do something with a first person shooter in a school. I realized that the first two ideas would probably require something closer to artistic talent (of which I don’t have) and the latter one would be a lot of elements. I then came to the realization that something simple would be more powerful. So I started looking for a classroom. I found the picture below here.

Courtesy of Huffington Post (although it doesn't seem to be attached to the link anymore).
Courtesy of Huffington Post (although it doesn’t seem to be attached to the link anymore).

Then I wanted to single out a single student, the gunman. I wasn’t sure how to do that, but I am fairly competent at making one object black and white in an image, so I did that. I then wanted to put a gun on or leaning up agains the desk. I tried to work the vanishing point, but that flattened the image, and it didn’t seem I could make a gun lean up against the desk, so I simply pulled the big gun out of the image below (which can be found here) and resized it and moved it so it fit on the desk.

Courtesy of NYPD.

Then I put the two together, fiddled around with some text at different places and different fonts, then with no text and different phrases, and finally ended up with the final product.

I think the main reason the photo works is because it is simple and clear. It doesn’t try to do too much or use too many elements, and it uses what is in the photo. There is some added tragic backstory as well, because there is a history behind school shootings, which makes it a universal issue as well.

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