My Tipping Point

It was mid-2014 - right after the University of California at Santa Barbara shooting - and I happened to glance at that weeks' issue of PEOPLE magazine. The cover story was about some Kardashian wedding and there was a little blurb in the upper right corner about the shooting... with a subhead saying 'How could this happen - again?'. Setting aside the disproportionality in importance of these two stories, I was struck by both the naivety and irresponsiblity of that copy.

“How could it NOT happen again?” was my reaction. Why should we be surprised?

I became increasingly frustrated by inaction - my own and the inaction of my country. I could no longer pay lip service to the importance of reducing the over 35,000 senseless and preventable deaths that take place every year. I could no longer just sign petitions or - worse - scratch my head in amazement every time there was a national tragedy and wonder what it was going to take to change society for the better.

We are, as Barack Obama famously said, the ones we've been waiting for... and we need to get involved in whatever way suits our passions and talents the best.

For me, this means meeting and photographing these brave people... and telling their diverse stories of trauma, grief, and strength.

Joe Quint
Brooklyn, NY

What will you do?