It Doesn't Happen Again | Issue No. 19

They say that happiness is a warm gun, but it’s hard to feel anything short of abject devastation and blinding rage each time your phone lets you know that there’s been another mass shooting, or a regular shooting, a police-involved shooting, a domestic-violence-related shooting, a self-inflicted shooting, an accidental shooting... or that another warm gun shot through the heart of yet another community today, and that just like yesterday, there’s nothing you can do to stop it from happening again tomorrow. You’ve already likely gotten such a notification today, or will get one while you’re reading this, and will feel something – or worse, feel nothing – and go about the rest of your day as we’ve been conditioned to: like there’s nothing particularly remarkable about how often someone’s shot to death in this country. And as the Supreme Court struggles to untangle New York’s gun laws, we’re struggling to find solutions to this new normal that amount to more than a bandaid on a bullet wound. And so we did what we always do – grabbed a mic, hit the streets, and asked Brooklyn what it was doing about all of these goddamn guns.

This country’s gun problem is massive and manifold, and this month, we’re staring down the barrel and looking for answers. But we need a fix cause we’re going down, in Brooklyn, USA.

Content Likely To Incite
By Maria Luisa Tucker

Should a person’s Facebook posts, Instagram stories, Twitter threads and dankest memes impact their ability to purchase a firearm? Two local politicians are convinced that they should, despite the concerns it raises around privacy and free speech. Producer Maria Luisa Tucker asked them, and the internet, how much you can really tell about a person from their online persona.

A Dot On A Map
By Emily Boghossian

Citizens have very little say in how they’re policed. New Yorkers, in particular, are watched, listened to, mapped (facially and otherwise), and generally sucked dry for their data. And while NYPD oversight measures made it onto the back of this November’s ballot — an appointed Civilian Complaint Review Board isn’t nearly enough. So is a new surveillance technology a responsible answer to gun violence? One widely-used private police tech company is trying to hold itself accountable.

The God Squad
By Sriyanka Ray & Anna Lueck

For the last decade, a team of Baptist and Episcopalian ministers, Seventh Day Adventists, and at least one Rabbi have been bridging the gap between the cops and the community in the 67th Precinct. This clergy crisis response team is known locally as the God Squad, and producer Sriyanka Ray spent an afternoon walking their beat as they spread the good word in the name of combating gun violence in Central Brooklyn.

By Emily Boghossian 


On weekdays after 3pm, the headquarters of Neighbors In Action is flooded with teenagers. The community-based anti-gun violence organization has been operating out of a small storefront office in Crown Heights since 1998. In 2011, Neighbors In Action launched Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (YO S.O.S.) – an after-school youth program designed to give the next generation of anti-violence activists the tools to organize around the issues of violence and trauma. Twice a week after school, they meet up to talk about how gun violence shows up in their lives, and what they can do about it.

There Is Nothing Strange About Him
By Sol Nova & Emily Boghossian

In response to the endemic murder of Black men at the hands of police officers, Jon Henry’s photographs spotlight the women who endure this senseless loss and carry on. His ongoing project, Stranger Fruit, examines the mother-son relationship through stunning images of mothers and sons suspended in embrace. Contemporary Arts Program Coordinator Sol Nova, who curated an exhibition of Jon’s work at BRIC, sat down with the artist to talk about Stranger Fruit.

Brooklyn, USA is produced by Sachar Mathias, Emily Boghossian, Shirin Barghi, Khyriel Palmer, Sasha Whittle and Charlie Hoxie. We’re tackling everything from self care to cooperative economics this season and we want to hear from you. If you want in, send us tips, pitches, thoughts, ideas, self-destructing messages, or just regular normal emails and check out our pitch page for more information.