By: I. Etlin
Just in seven weeks of 2018 there has been eight shootings at US schools that have resulted in death or injuries. One of these tragedies was the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting, in Parkland, Florida, which is now considered one of the world’s deadliest school shooting.
On the 14th of February a former nineteen-year-old student opened fire and killed seventeen people (fourteen students and three staff members) and injured another seventeen. The perpetrator (identified as Nikolas Cruz) is now charged with 17 counts of first degree-murder and is going to face a life prison sentence.
The political response towards this horrific event was shocking, to say the least. A week after the shooting, Trump had a ‘listening session’ with students and suggested arming up to 20% of the teachers to stop “maniacs” from attacking students. He even tweeted: “Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly before police arrives”. This sparked a huge worldwide debate on gun control laws, leading to protests and campaigns.
The majority of US citizens were appalled with the lack of action politicians took to prevent these shootings from happening again. Thus, they started to create campaigns, such as: Never Again MSD (refers to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school), which is a student-led gun control organization that advocates for tighter gun control laws or the March for our lives, a nationwide demonstration which demands action against gun violence.
As a result, the Florida Legislature passed a bill raising the minimum age for buying rifles to twenty-one, whilst establishing waiting periods and background checks. Furthermore, this bill provides a program for the arming of some school employees and hiring of school police. Unfortunately, the NRA (National Rifle association) challenged this bill by claiming that banning gun sales to people under twenty-one was unconstitutional, since it violated the right that 18- to 21-year-olds, who were classified as adults. Following this, people are starting to boycott the NRA and its business affiliates, causing several companies to terminate their business relationship with the NRA.