From Flickr
Republicans defend officers that didn’t want to face an AR-15, I bet the 17 victims didn’t either.

The tragedy in Parkland is, according to Everytown, the 18th incident in America in which a gun has been discharged on a school campus this year alone, and the 5th in which a student was injured or killed as a result. This averages out to around one shooting a week.

But the students who survived the trauma refuse to let the horrific deaths of their friends fade into statistics like the one above. They have successfully marshalled grief, anger and fear into an energetic breakthrough movement. Greedy, money orientated politicians assume their movement is about banning all guns or taking away the Second Amendment when in fact they want to rightly appeal that weapons of war should not be easily accessibly to ANYONE in society especially those who could pose a threat. After the ban on assault weapons placed in 1994 expired in 2004 mass shootings, as predicted, increased. America should be learning from history not arming teachers or fitting childrens’ rucksacks with Kevlar shields. Australia after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre that killed 35 people imposed sweeping gun laws. Just as in the United Kingdom the mass shooing in Hungerford in 1987 led to the ban of powerful larger weapons. Then a massacre of 16 people in Dunblane in 1996 surged support of gun laws and the Conservative and later Labour party banned all handguns.

Minimal modest improvements have been proposed such as raising the minimum age of some gun purchases and strengthening the background checking system. However these do not go far enough. There needs to be no exception about how one buys a gun and the FBI needs to have longer than the measly three-days to inspect someone and determine if they would be dangerous with a murder weapon.

Just as there is the expectation of responsibility and accountability for people who drive cars, so there should be for people who own guns. That means requiring registration, training and insurance.

David Hogg, a 17-year old survivor who has appeared on multiple networks, has called for lawmakers to enact new gun laws:

“Students are dying trying to get an education,” he told CNN. “That’s not OK, and that’s not acceptable and we need to fix that.”

Tam High Vigil for Parkland School Shooting (Source: Flickr)

However, every strong and powerful movement faces opposition, coming from some Republican politicians and supporters of the NRA. In particular Conservative commentator Erick Erickson who labels Hogg a “bully” in a recent blog post. NRA supporters see that it’s a child’s right to own a gun, but not have a political a opinion.

“He may be a survivor of the high school shooting in Parkland, FL, but he is using that position to avoid being challenged…he gets to use what happened to him as a shield to avoid criticism” – Erickson

Hogg’s and the other advocates’ “position” is that they are survivors of an awful and preventable tragedy as they saw 17 of their friends slaughtered by a weapon of war that is easily accessible in society. The students of Douglas are discovering that the so-called “adults” in charge of their country can’t protect them therefore they are standing up to protect themselves. Hogg states perfectly that “We will outlive you”.

How is it possible that politicians are blaming the teens for violence that was caused by THEIR unsafe security with the lack of responsible gun laws.

Who knows maybe they will ban schools before they ban guns.

Demonstration outside the White House by Teens For Gun Reform following the Parkland Shooting (Source: WikiCommons)

The NRA after days of silence finally spoke out as Dana Loesch stated that “I wish that as much attention were given to the Broward County Sheriff and their abdication of duty as trying to blame five million innocent, law-abiding gun owners all across the country.” Now Dana let’s not get carried away in divisive propagandist agendas, the attention is not on the “law-abiding” members of the NRA but it’s the NRA’s refusal to consider sensible and safe gun reform that the survivors are justifiably pursuing. Blaming the NRA is not the same as blaming responsible gun ownership. Why do the NRA oppose Red Flag Laws, which would enable restraining orders to remove guns from someone who is in danger of hurting themselves or others? These facts matter.

People are claiming that teachers should be responsible enough to carry an armed weapon as they have the responsibility to protect and teach the children of America. No, they have the responsibility to open the eyes of children to education and learning not worrying about a killing machine every thirty seconds. Remove guns, don’t give out more.

“Wanted: Teacher Job Description: Low pay, no respect from society, might have to kill someone, probably a student, will need to know which one to kill while panicking, starts immediately, art supplies not provided.”- Wendy Molyneux

The children who are focusing their time on trying to make America safer are in fact getting death threats from NRA supporters – do you see the problem here? LaPierre claimes that gun-control advocates “Hate individual freedom”. Gun-control advocates hate that an individual’s “freedom” enables students to be killed when the Junior State Senator for Florida says that “the problem cannot be solved by gun laws alone”. The main point here is that stricter gun laws, as shown by the history of other countries, would lower the number of school shootings. FACT.

Student, Natasha, offers an incredibly useful thread on twitter about how to help support the Parkland community. We do not want to see this happen again.

However just as the number 17 means something different to the students of Douglas, if the NRA do not reform then another number is going to have the same meaning to yet another school.

bookmark me

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.