Two years ago, on what would have been her and John Lennon’s 44th wedding anniversary, Yoko Ono tweeted a photo of the her husband’s bloodied glasses to promote gun control laws. I remember seeing pictures of Ono photographing the glasses against the skyline view from her apartment and thinking: This is her way of dealing with immense loss and shock. Nearly four decades later that powerful image would become part of an anti-gun campaign bearing the message: Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the U.S.A. since John Lennon was shot and killed on December 8, 1980.
It is impossible to know what loss due to extraordinary violence feels like if you haven’t experienced it. I have gotten a glimpse over the past months as friends have struggled to deal with the murder of their beloved niece Becca, one of the 1,057,000+ mentioned in Ono’s tweet. Charlie Allenson took his own step toward healing by writing about it in Huffington Post recently. The Car in the Lot is a potent 573 words worth of essential reading, a unique and eloquent view of what such loss is like.
We wonder how Charlie’s words will resonate, how they will work to make people SEE how close-to-home this kind of violence can be, where they will take him on the difficult path he never imagined being on. We believe that, like Ono’s image, Charlie’s words have the power to shift people’s view, and in doing so catalyze change.
In the meantime, the Beeps Foundation has been set up in his niece’s name —Beeps was Becca Eldemire‘s nickname— to further the work she wanted to do: foster a peaceful and sustainable world. In its infancy, it has just funded two paid internships on the farm Becca worked on. We invite you to donate to Beeps.
We hope for a future where this poster will no longer have meaning.