The recent uptick in mass shootings in America has made me as angry and disgusted and numb and frustrated as it always does. I struggle to write about it because 1) so much academic research on the U.S. gun debate tries to be “neutral” and I cannot be neutral on this topic at all, and 2) because when I see the arguments put forward by the “other side,” I lose all hope of change ever happening. There’s no reasoning with them–they don’t care about the facts and they clearly value gun rights over the right of children not to get shot in school. They made that decision in 2012, and after every shooting since Sandy Hook, they’ve just doubled down.
I started my research on the U.S. gun debate after the Parkland shooting, so I’ve read a lot of analyses about the March For Our Lives movement, their 2018 march on Washington, and the incredible organising and lobbying work of the Parkland survivors and victims’ families.
Today, they marched again. Some 450 rallies were organised around the US, and tens of thousands showed up in Washington, D.C.
I wish they didn’t have to keep doing it, but I’m so proud of them and inspired by them for their continued fight against gun violence.
As I’ve written before, these mass shootings and the cult of the Second Amendment are America’s Embarrassment. The U.S. looks crazy to the rest of the world. When Trump or George W. Bush were in charge, the lack of progress on gun control was understandable. But under Obama after Sandy Hook in 2012? Now, with Biden and a Democratic-majority (in theory) Congress? Biden tweeted his support for the March For Our Lives demonstration today, and asked Congress to do something–but surely there must be more that he can do? Why is the President considered so powerful if they can’t even keep the American people safe from gun violence at elementary schools, churches, supermarkets, etc.?