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February 5, 2013

In One Photo, a Lost Generation

It’s a stunning photo of grief, loss and gun violence, this story animating the media almost daily now in the most tragic way. (This article at HuffPo, posted 3 days ago, cites 1,280 U.S. gun deaths since Sandy Hook.)

The caption:

Ronnie Chambers Jr. looks at his mother Tahitah Myles (obscured) as she collapses during the funeral for his father Ronnie Chambers, 33, a victim of gun violence, in Chicago Feb.4. Shirley Chambers of Chicago had four children – three boys and a girl. Now they’re all gone. Her son, Ronnie Chambers, was the last of the single mother’s children – all victims of gun violence in Chicago over a period of 18 years.

It’s quite the photo when the main subject of such an anonymous story isn’t even in it. Most significantly though, what the photographer captures is the rippling effect of a culture of gun violence. In Ronnie’s downward gaze hangs the incalculable impact of not just his lost father and inconsolable mother, but three lost uncles and an aunt. A lost generation.

(photo: John Gress/Reuters)

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