Taking Cover With An AK

This week's cover story on one incarcerated Don Hardge focuses on the weapon of choice he fired into a crowd of Oak Cliff teenagers on what turned into a violent evening back in 2008. You can read all about the local tragedy here.

Handling the tragic tale of one kid's irresponsible action where another kid's life was taken isn't an easy one. An added factor is the shooter's claim that he's not responsible for the actual death of the victim, without denying discharging his Avtomat Kalashnikova assault rifle into the young crowd outside an Oak Cliff venue. Claiming innocence when the evidence is against you is awfully bold. Claiming innocence when you're carrying a Russian killing icon in your car is even more difficult to swallow. Nevertheless, the aspect of innocence (and regret) is something to utilize when portraying this story on the cover. Enter the white-washed, paper-made replica of the iconic weapon.

Going stark and mostly neutral in color with the cover as a whole enforces the innocence aspect. Overlaying the keyword "irresponsible" across it in heavy, distressed red type addresses everything else about this story: tragedy, calamity, violence, and sadly, murder.

Hopefully, this cover will catch some eyes, if at the very least, for its spartan presence, save the unavoidable red headline that shouts out from the emptiness. It's not unlike the emptiness created for so many when Don Hardge made one last bad decision on that fateful night in Oak Cliff. Pick up a copy of the issue and read all about it.

Until next week, be safe out there.

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