Monday, January 9, 2012

The Most Overused Image of 2011

That, of course, is Jared Loughner, the man who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head a year ago. He also killed 6 others and wounded 12 more. That picture, taken shortly after Loughner's arrest, was shocking in contrast to the tragedy he visited upon his victims and us. The deranged glee on Loughner's face seemed to mock the horror and sorrow he had inflicted on others. Almost every story about Loughner, and many of those about Giffords, carry that picture. I've seen it hundreds of times. In fact, I've seen it too many times. It's no longer shocking now. It's just sickening.

I know the photo was resurrected because of the recent anniversary of the shooting. It's a great photo. It's become iconic of our failure to deal with the dangerously mentally ill, but it's just used too often.  Please, editors, give it a break.

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