Friday, April 26, 2013

Terrorism is a Crime. Photography is Not!

This is off-topic for this blog but it's related to photographers, nearly all photographers, and it really pisses me off!

Last week, when pretty much everyone was glued to the news about the Boston bombing and the subsequent search for the culprits, law enforcement was literally begging people to come forward with any photos or videos they might have which could possibly help them identify and apprehend suspects.  But just one day after the bombings, the FBI, along with the DHS (Department of Homeland Security), released a statement reiterating their bullshit about photography leading to terrorism.

How come, as an example, when someone bursts into an elementary school and uses guns to kill innocent children, it's got nothing to do with America's many, law-abiding, gun hobbyists in general?  But when terrorists use cameras to document potential targets -- something authorities have said has happened a few times in the past -- we need to be reminded that photography and photographers might be potential terrorists? By the way, there's been no announcement or indication that's what happened prior to the Boston bombing, but some people at the FBI and DHS still decided to make generic, fear-producing, noise about the threats photographers pose.


Why is the 2nd Amendment so inviolate but the 1rst Amendment is not? Photography, and your right to pursue it in public, is protected by your rights of free speech.  (Part of the 1rst Amendment.)  But pick up your camera, go out on the street, and shoot? Oh! Look at that photographer. That's suspicious activity! He or she might be a terrorist. We better do something about their suspicious activities... like call the FBI, I suppose.


That kind of thinking really pisses me off, more so me being a photographer and all. If you're a photographer it should piss you off as well. It should piss everyone off! Why? Because these days, just about everyone is a photographer of some sort or uses a camera in public, even if it's their cell phone's camera. But according to the DHS and the FBI, everyone and anyone shooting pictures in public places might be terrorists. In other words, per the government, everyone is a suspected terrorist!

I don't about you, but if I see someone in public brandishing a gun, I'm going to be automatically suspicious. I'm also likely going to put some added distance between myself and the gun bearer.  But when I see someone with a camera, it doesn't even occur to me the photographer is someone I should be suspicious of... even if the photographer is wearing clothing that gives them away as Muslim.

The fear mongers are winning, people! It's up to all of us to try to do something about that.  You can start by supporting PINAC.  (Photography Is Not A Crime.)

Just when you thought I was so PO'd I forgot to post a sexy, pretty-girl pic... here's one I snapped of the gorgeous goddess, Tera Patrick. (Click it to enlarge.)


Rodney said...

Well said. I AM pissed off about this, and get increasingly more so every day. I don't know if you heard this or not, but after consulting with law enforcement officials in Boston after the marathon bombings, Kentucky Derby officials are not allowing interchangeable-lens cameras or cameras with lenses more than six inches in length into any Derby activities next weekend. Ridiculous! And wasn't it the FBI and Boston police who were begging people for pictures taken that day in hopes of identifying the suspects? It disgusts me the way photographers are treated these days.

Anonymous said...

This happened to us in the U.K. around 3 years ago. With a change in government this improved somewhat, so I'd like to think it's become slightly better. Even so, we are still wary of where we wander with an SLR nowadays.

Although no-one cares if you shoot with a mobile phone, we find that SLR's are still demonised. I still don't get this. Weird.

jimmyd said...

I recently purchased a Fujifilm X100. The camera is a digital rangefinder and looks like it was manufactured in the 1960s. But it's looks are deceiving. It produces images every bit as good as most dSLRS. Sure, it has a 35mm fixed prime lens (which adds to its retro appearance) but since today's dSLRs seem to be the cameras that brands photographers as a potential terror suspects, I'll be doing most all my public shooting with my X100.

Anonymous said...

Its the Hover times of the late 40' and early 50's all over again.