Why nothing will change in the US anyway

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold wanted to die. Due to various reasons. One was a psychopath who was unable to feel and was bored endlessly. The other believed he was the loneliest person in the world because what the FBI would later report did not really succeed with a girl. But the teens agreed on one thing: others had to pay for their personal misfortune.

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On April 20, 1999, Harris and Klebold killed twelve classmates and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, a suburb of Denver, before shooting themselves. With weapons purchased without much difficulty at so-called National Rifle Association (NRA) arms exhibitions. The gun lobby came under pressure, and tougher national gun laws in the United States seemed within reach. A grieving nation asked itself: How long are we going to see each other shoot for longer?

Time gives a relentless answer: still and so far. On Tuesday, an 18-year-old killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, before being shot and killed by police. And 23 years after Columbine, US President Joe Biden asks his once sobbing nation, “When in God’s name should we stand up to the arms lobby?”

Facts

According to a Washington Post database, more than 300,000 high school students have been victims of gun violence since the Columbine shooting. No other country can boast of such a shameful record. 311,000 children were injured in school shootings or had to watch their classmates and teachers being shot. They sought refuge in cordoned off classrooms, bathrooms and shaking under their desks.

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Experts are now talking about an epidemic. The debate over the liberal gun law is deadlocked – despite all the killings. The news organization Education Week has kept records since 2018. This year alone, there have been 27 school shootings in which at least one person has been shot or injured.

According to statistics, an average of 30 people have been killed in American schools every year since 2013. The most significant year so far was 2018 with 61 killed. This year, 27 people have already died at the school. And it is not until the end of May. In the United States, children are now more likely to die from gunshot wounds than from car accidents. According to the US health authority CDC, this was the case for the first time in 2020. What sounds unthinkable in Germany is becoming a daily nightmare in a country where an estimated 400 million firearms are in private hands.

Schools are not the only crime scenes. According to an evaluation by the non-profit organization Everytown for Gun Safety, most homicides, about 61 percent, take place in private homes and about 30 percent in public. Ten people were shot and killed in a supermarket in Buffalo just 12 days ago.

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The latest statistics from the health authority CDC from 2020 show how big the weapons problem is: At the time, the United States complained about 120 gun deaths a day.

According to the database The Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit organization, there have already been 212 mass shootings this year. Unlike Everytown, this count only includes events in which more than four people were killed or wounded by firearms.

prayers instead of laws

Nevertheless, stricter gun laws in the United States seem to be a long way off. The process of killing sprees is now practiced: outcry, sadness, anger, and passivity. Republicans are praying for the victims and the bereaved, and Democrats are calling for gun laws that they will not get through the Senate. In the end, it was not even tried.

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The issue has not been seriously discussed since 2013 following the December 2012 shooting of 20 children and six employees at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Two proposals to expand and tighten background checks on arms sales – reforms predominantly supported by the American public – passed the House of Representatives in March 2021, but have been put on hold in the Senate, which would require ten Republican votes to be passed to pass the law put to the vote at all.

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The influence of the arms lobby

A majority of Republican politicians are against change. Weapons guarantee freedom and security, they claim. Many Republican lawmakers receive financial support from the NRA, the influential arms lobby. Politicians’ arguments against stricter conditions sometimes sound as if they had memorized the programs of the gun fanatics.

Then it says: More weapons are needed. Especially in schools, teachers should also carry weapons. The number game would be simple: more good guys than evil with weapons in hand would minimize the losses. Moreover, the perpetrators would be mad and they would remain mad even if there were fewer weapons.

And the manslaughter argument: the founders wanted it that way. “Since a well-organized militia is necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to possess and bear arms must not be violated.” That’s what the second amendment to the US Constitution says. The gun lobby and large sections of Republicans base their opposition to stricter rules and controls on this.

Why is the NRA so powerful?

The National Rifle Association influences American politics like no other organization.

In addition, of course, God must not be lacking. Texas Senator Ted Cruz clarified in the wake of the worst school shooting in his state’s history that it is “the fundamental, God-given right of each of us to defend our lives, to defend our homes, to defend our children, to defend our .. To defend the family, or to put it another way: the loose gun law, which is currently contributing to the deaths of so many children, must remain liberal so that they can be protected, Cruz also advocates that schools should have only one strongly controlled input and output.Whoever is involved is involved.Strict chain of argument sounds different.

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Republican politicians have given gun control an elitist image. Democratic politicians have armed security teams but want to make it harder for citizens to carry guns despite rising crime, according to the NRA’s firearms lobby’s website.

Just a few hours drive from the latest craze, the NRA is holding its annual meeting in Houston, Texas, this weekend. State Gov. Greg Abbott, Senator Cruz and Donald Trump are expected. The former president is convinced that “the second amendment to the constitution is about freedom,” the NRA said in a statement.

Weapons legislation could become even looser

Weapons are generally very easy to obtain in the United States. There are differences from state to state, but some of them can even be bought in the supermarket. At NRA gun shows, you do not even have to show ID to buy guns, ammunition or automatic rifles. Thousands of weapons are sold over the counter weekend after weekend – with no way to control how dangerous the person holding them is from now on.

Although there are stricter gun laws at the state level in democratically governed parts of the United States, there is a turning point here as well. Because U.S. gun freaks are already messing with the next coup: “The right to hide and carry,” reports the impartial Brennan Center for Justice. Over the next few months, the Supreme Court will rule on one of the most important arms cases in the court’s history.

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The case is about whether gun owners have a constitutional right to carry their weapons outside their homes, and if so, whether banning concealed weapons is contrary to the Second Amendment. Two men in the state of New York have filed a lawsuit against the law prohibiting the carrying of firearms in public unless there is a compelling reason. If they get it right – and it seems so – similar rules in several states will be overturned.

In the past, gun owners were often able to assert themselves in U.S. courts. On May 11, an appeals court ruled that a California law banning the sale of semi-automatic rifles to customers under the age of 21 was unconstitutional. The United States would not exist without the heroism of young people fighting for independence in the War of Independence, the judges said.

And as long as the second amendment is so fanatically interpreted, parents will continue to send their offspring into the classroom, knowing that they may never come out alive. And then a broken nation will soon ask itself the question again: Are our weapons worth more to us than our children?

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