Student with a Rifle (2000) by John Martin Sain

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Acrylic on Wood (32" X 23") – I began this after the Columbine tragedy in 1999. Attempting to portray the grim reality of many of our youth nowadays. To illustrate the growing need for all of us recognize the ills that continues to permeate throughout our schools. To urge those in position to make a difference to become more aware of the dark and profoundly disturbed psychological makeup of a certain breed of students who continue to conclude there is no escape but through senseless violence. Government leaders, (national and local), school administrators and counselors, classmates and parents – need to increase their vigilance and devote more time and energy towards developing a deeper understanding of the unseen pressures, destructive influences, and sometimes traumatic circumstances which challenge much of our youth today.


children, guns, kids, problems, schools, society, violence


  • H Maria Perry
    H Maria Perryover 6 years ago

    One of the most important pieces of art ever created! Shocking, frightening, and ever so masterfully executed! Wow. There is something wrong with a society when its children are killing each other. Well done.

  • Stacey Hatton
    Stacey Hattonover 6 years ago

    A wonderful image which really makes your statement quite clear. You have a very good point, it’s a horrifying situation. The only thing I might change about your image is to make the gun a bit lighter. It gets lost in the background. Well done. :D

  • Wegwoman
    Wegwomanover 6 years ago

    A great image! A very horrific issue! If all parties do not get involved we will see this repeated over and over. We need to save our children.

  • alykat
    alykatover 6 years ago

    wow, powerful work.

  • Ozcloggie
    Ozcloggieover 6 years ago

    Yes. It made me look (after I saw the thumbnail, which was disturbing). Thank goodness (fingers crossed / touch wood) that this is not heard of in Australia.

  • Martin Kirkwood
    Martin Kirkwoodover 6 years ago

    Outstanding work!!! I don’t think I can say much more.

  • Jim Phillips
    Jim Phillipsover 6 years ago

    John, this piece did what a good piece of art is supposed to do, it move me. Extremely well done. Your message is strong.

  • darkestartist
    darkestartistabout 6 years ago

    wow. amazing portrayal of a terrible problem. excellent job here.

  • Ozcloggie
    Ozcloggieabout 6 years ago

    Very tempting to get on my soap-box, re blaming the victims. I don’t believe that school administrators can change the attitudes of government leaders, (national and local), and fix these problems that their students might be having.
    School administrators and staff (teachers) can only do their best to help the students cope the best way possible with living in a society. I am sure that your schools do not create the ills. The focus should be elsewhere.
    There!! Your picture works!!

  • margaretfraser
    margaretfraserabout 6 years ago

    beautiful work

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