Déjà Vu 🔫

 Parkland, FL shooting victims

Parkland, FL shooting victims

17 killed in a FL school shooting
Yesterday, a 19-year-old entered his old high school near Miami with an AR-15 assault rifle and fatally shot teachers and students. The shooter used smoke grenades to disorient victims, who flooded hallways after the shooter pulled the fire alarm.

Mass shootings
There have been more than 40 “active shooter” episodes in American schools since 2000. Yesterday’s tragedy is the 8th school shooting in 2018 that has resulted in death or injury. Currently, there is one major gun bill working its way through Congress: The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act which, if passed, would loosen regulations on concealed handguns across the country.

Predictably
Yesterday’s tragedy renewed the debate about whether the US needs stronger gun safety laws. It seems like we’re having this argument once every other month now.



Anti gun safety law folks want readers to see this shooting as the work of a disturbed individual, who would have harmed others no matter what gun laws were in place - note keywords “showed warning signs”. Opponents to gun laws point out that we do not yet know how the shooter obtained the AR-15 he used and so we cannot know whether a law could have prevented this tragedy. Some articles go further: counterattacking gun law advocates and accusing them of “politicizing” the shooting.

Pro gun safety law folks want readers to see and feel the horror the Parkland community is experiencing. To the supporters of additional gun safety laws, this shooting is part of an accelerating pattern that could be stopped if lawmakers would simply pass legislation making guns - especially assault rifles like the one used yesterday - harder to obtain.


Does the US need more laws restricting access to guns?
Our country is unique: liberty - and, specifically, gun ownership - is central to our culture and is explicitly protected in our founding documents. At the same time, the number of guns per capita in the U.S. is nearly twice that of the next most armed nation (Serbia) and our gun homicide rate is much higher than that of similarly developed countries. There is a clear problem, but what is the right solution? As a country, we are stuck on this question...

 

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