There are two new additions to my collection of Gratuitous Guns (figures 1, 2, and 3).
Fig. 1. Gratuitous Guns map.
The first is in Verona (figure 2). It appears in the map (figure 1) as near Oakmont and across the Allegheny River from Fox Chapel. Both of the latter towns are quite wealthy areas. Verona seems to be much more mixed and is definitely not as wealthy. The intersection of race and class holds.
Fig. 2. Gratuitous gun in Verona, photography by author, March 7, 2020.
The second is in McKeesport, just barely in McKeesport, adjacent to the Greater Allegheny campus of Penn State University. White Oak, a much whiter and far less devastated community, is very nearby. This is yet another fucking tank (figure 3):
Fig. 3. Gratuitous tank in Renziehausen Park, McKeesport, photograph by author March 11, 2020.
In contrast to universities like University of Pittsburgh (“Pitt”), Duquesne, and Carnegie-Mellon, many students at this Penn State campus are Black. And McKeesport seems predominantly Black. There are entire blocks, often in succession, where almost all of the houses have been abandoned.
These two examples, especially, inform me as to how the answer in our society, especially in the Pittsburgh area, to racial and class inequality is not mitigation but intimidation. But oh yeah, we should elect more of the fucking same.
The photograph collection is publicly available.
- David Benfell, “The banners and the guns: Flagrant racism in Pittsburgh,” Not Housebroken, October 12, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/09/20/the-banners-and-the-guns-flagrant-racism-in-pittsburgh/↩