After the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016, artist Lydia Moyer responded by making the video above, called “Moments of Silence.”
“Moments of Silence” is a supercut (a compilation of short video clips) of every moment of silence held in the U.S. House of Representatives for mass shootings in the seven years preceding the massacre at Pulse.
Watching these moments stitched together by Moyer, we’re stunned by how silence is rendered as an order of business. Something sacred, potentially sacred, becomes meaningless as the moment repeats. The sounds of coughing, breathing. Heads bowed. We’re looking down on the site, the seat of government, where real change could be made to control the availability and accessibility of guns in our country, and has not.
As we all process the death of 59 people in Las Vegas this week, one of the largest mass shootings on U.S. soil in history, it feels important to note that the terrorist responsible had an arsenal in his hotel room: 20 rifles, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and devices that enabled him to kill more people, more quickly. The 45th president, in addressing this event, skipped these facts. This was the 273rd mass shooting in the U.S. this year. Rather than speak about what is a real American problem, the president “did not mention firearms or psychosis or domestic terrorism, but blamed only ‘pure evil.'”
And another moment of silence was held in the House.
After the Pulse shooting in 2016, protest in the U.S. House of Representatives against an accumulation of silence in response to mass shootings began.