The Art=Ammo gun control flash mob chalked out a grisly scene Sunday in Newark, New Jersey. Members of the flash mob sprawled out across the sidewalk as if dead while others chalked outlines of the bodies on the pavement.
The flash mob was created by Broadway choreographer Lorin Latarro in response to the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy. Latarro writes on the artammo.org website, "I speak with movement. I create ephemeral, moving images to hopefully affect people in some way… In this debate, art becomes the silver bullet that can cut through the sound bites and political shouting saturating gun control rhetoric. Art taps into another part of the brain that doesn’t think in red and blue, penetrating people’s emotions to breakthrough."
Apparently, Latarro’s art is working. "It was very moving," said Alicia Silvestri, a flash mob volunteer. "The thought that there wouldn't be a heartbeat was just a very emotional experience."
Some of the flash mob participants even brought along children to participate. One 6-year-old boy, Lyfe Smith, said that he enjoyed the event “because it was good.”
His mother, Sunrise Smith, added, "It's really important for my husband and I to teach our children at an early age, not just about gun violence, but to serve their community.”
Bill Haney, the founder of the West Jersey Tea Party and an NRA member, supported the Art=Ammo’s stance on the First Amendment but not their stance on the Second. “By all means, make your point," Haney said, adding, "The United States is one of the safest countries in the world because there is a Second Amendment.”
The big question is whether or not the flash mob’s performance will have any impact on New Jersey lawmakers. Legislators from the Garden State are trying to push a package of gun control bills through the New Jersey legislature.
Of course, different people might receive different messages from the flash mob. Gun control advocates might see the chalked outlines as a score of innocent people. Gun rights advocates might see the bodies of would-be criminals gun downed by gun-toting citizens.