USA

America’s young want tighter gun laws

Self evidently it is young people overwhelmingly affected by school shootings and pointedly, it is young people leading the calls for action over gun violence.

David Hogg, a 17 year old senior student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was in his environmental science class when the shooting began echoing through the school corridors.

He escaped unhurt and has decided to speak out on behalf of his friends who were injured and killed.

"The violence has to stop," he said.

"Please take action. Ideas are great, but what's more important is actual action, saving thousands of children's lives."

Image:A vigil for the victims of the Florida school shooting

He and many other people within the age range of the victims of this shooting want stricter gun control now.

In a recent survey here, some 78% of millennials believe it is too easy to purchase a gun and 59% believe that gun violence would decrease if regulations were strengthened.

It took the media less than 24 hours to uncover information about the alleged gunman that made it pretty clear the warning signs were there.

How he boasted about his guns, how he said he wanted to be a "professional school shooter", how he was bragging about shooting animals, how he was a loner, a misfit and the sort of guy who, his ex-school colleagues used to joke, was just the sort to "shoot up the school".

Now if the media connected the dots so quickly, how was it he was able to swan through a background check when, at the age of 18, he bought his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

The image shows two different versions of a AR-15 Pic:TheAlphaWolf
Image:Nikolas Cruz was able to buy an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle Pic:TheAlphaWolf

He was identified by fellow pupils and neighbours as a threat, yet he was still able to legally purchase such a powerful weapon.

At the very least background checks need to be far more rigorous.

You can be on a no-fly list in the States and still be able to buy a gun. Also background checks are far too easily circumvented by buying weapons online or at gun shows.

But the problem for gun control activists is this. If the politicians couldn't get their act together after the Sandy Hook school shooting in which 20 children and six of their teachers were killed, then what will it take.

In 2012 there was a Democrat President and a Democrat controlled Senate, but even then Obama couldn't get any tightened regulations through.

Cruz making his first appearance in court after the school shooting.
Image:Cruz making his first appearance in court after the school shooting.

The names of the schools change, the names of the victims change but the arguments stay exactly the same.

And the gun lobby and their supporters in Congress fall back on the issue of inalienable rights and freedoms much cherished by Americans the country over.

Now there is a President who doesn't even mention the availability of guns as a problem when he addresses the nation in the wake of this shooting.

President Trump
Video:Trump response to mass shooting sparks anger

Nor did the House speaker and neither did many Republican politicians .

Democrats who have tried to put tighter gun laws on the books have failed in repeated attempts in Congress. Time and again bills have been produced that have got nowhere.

More from US

It is a pattern every bit as entrenched as the mass killings that continue to scar this country.

David Hogg, the student survivor, is not being listened to. Or at least he's not being heard.

Original Article

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