Someone on a social site I post on once stated that he couldn’t understand the contradiction between my statement that I was an agnostic and the fact that a number of my retablos made use of images of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
I answered that for me, she was a symbol of that gentle, loving, peaceful, motherly, female side of Mexico that balanced the macho, warlike, violent male side. He didn’t understand this and actually ended our correspondence—a perfect example of that force I sought to counterbalance. Some years ago I completed another retablo entitled “Macho” that demonstrates the male side of the dichotomy.
My retablo deals with the dichotomy between the masculine and the feminine in both Mexico and the world.
It seems to me that this constant struggle between these two forces in our lives is especially evident in the past two years. The masculine demands its right to exercise its power in whatever means it might choose. The right to possess and fire a gun retains its power in our “land of the free” despite its ever-increasing tendency to wholesale slaughter. The voices of mothers and those sane souls male or female who cry out to restore balance through gun control fall on the deaf ears of those meant to serve our needs.
Below is another sculpture I completed in 2012 entitled, “Anima/Animus.”
Since first reading Jung 37 years ago, I have been almost constantly engaged in examining that force which seems to drive the world—that shifting between anima and animus that the I Ching might call yin and yang and that religion might classify as good and evil. Not that either the anima or animus is purely good or evil, as they signify the unconscious male impulse in a woman and the unconscious female impulse in a male. The anima is the feminine part of a man’s personality and the animus is the male part of a woman’s personality, so each sex contains elements of both. The struggle in the world is partially a matter of trying to balance the two, and in our present society, there is certainly good evidence that we are out of balance.. This is a simplistic statement of a very complex matter, but one I often deal with in my work.
This detail examines the shattering of the male side of the ego by a feminine consciousness. The gold object in the glass case is a small replica of the instrument used to sever the head in sacrificial preHispanic temple ceremonies. The hammer shattering the glass is meant to symbolize the gentling effect of the feminine on the masculine. Would that this balance is soon restored in our society, which presently suffers 25 times the deaths by gunfire of any other developed nation.
Below are some quotations and links for various articles I researched concerning the issue of gun control and the rampant gun violence and mass shootings in the U.S. as compared to the rest of the world:
“But the emotional impact of school shootings has sparked a booming school safety industry. In 2017, the market for security equipment in the education sector was estimated at $2.68bn, according to industry analysts at IHS Markit. Some companies have capitalized on parents’ fears by selling bulletproof backpacks or whiteboards, as well as offering ways to fortify school buildings themselves against attack.
While refusing to pass substantive gun control restrictions, Congress has approved hundreds of millions of dollars in federal spending to help put police officers in public schools, including $45m in 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.
In 2009,mericans own 48 percent of the estimated 750 million civilian owned guns worldwide.
The U.S. makes up less that 5% of the world’s population , yet holds 31% of the global mass shooters. (2012 statistics.)”
“In February 2017, US President Donald Trump signed a measure that scrapped an Obama-era regulation aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of some severely mentally ill people.”
“Some gun rights advocates have pushed to expand gun-carrying in schools further. Andrew McDaniel, a state legislator in Missouri who introduced legislation last year to make it easier to carry guns in schools, told the Guardianthat, in rural schools where it might take 20 or 30 minutes for law enforcement to respond to a school shooting in progress, it made sense to have other armed citizens ready to step in.”
Quote from Denver Post: “In the wake of massacres like Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a small number of states have passed “red flag laws” that allow the seizure of guns before people can commit acts of violence.
California, Washington, Oregon, Indiana and Connecticut have statutes that can be used to temporarily take guns away from people whom a judge deems a threat to themselves or others. Lawmakers in 18 other states – including Florida – plus the District of Columbia have proposed similar measures.
Mental illness, escalating threats, substance abuse and domestic violence are among the circumstances under which a judge can order weapon restrictions.”
“This morning I heard the sheriff [in Parkland] lament the fact that he did not have the tools to remove the firearms from the shooter,” Joshua Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said Thursday. “Had he lived in one of those states where this law is in place, he would have had the tools, and this shooting may have been averted.”
“The nation’s patchwork of federal and state gun laws mainly involves background checks and actions to prevent people who pose a threat from buying firearms. The approach of red flag laws is to seize guns from people who have them and to restrict their access until they are no longer dangerous.”
“He must have been the kind of child who had to be told more than once not to put his hand in the fire on the gas stove.That’s the only reasonable explanation as to why Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R), who was a sophomore at Columbine High School when one of the first of the modern mass school shootings took place, is introducing legislation to eliminate gun-free zones in Colorado schools.”
Images and copy from a post I made 5 years ago are used in this posting.The prompt today is constant.