After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, student activists and survivors ‘called BS’ on the National Rifle Association, pushed gun reform laws and registered young voters.
When a disgruntled former high school student in Parkland last year killed 17 people, mostly kids he’d sat alongside in classrooms over the years, it seemed certain to change the parameters of the gun debate in America — particularly when the attack’s passionate teenage survivors swarmed social media with demands for new restrictions on firearms.
They raised millions of dollars, registered tens of thousands of young voters, hired a Washington lobbyist and dramatically confronted pro-gun politicians on TV.
President Trump gave them a White House audience and a sympathetic ear, then scolded lawmakers for being “petrified” of the National Rifle Association. Even Florida, cradle of Stand Your Ground laws, where the NRA wields enormous influence, passed a ballyhooed gun law with Parkland parents invited to the signing.
But a year later, 2018 looks a lot like 1929, when Americans were shocked and appalled by the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, yet ultimately did little to alter their country’s gun law in the long run. Or 1968, when much the same thing took place in the wake of the political assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Or 1993, when President Ronald Reagan was nearly killed by a crazed man trying to impress an actress. Or 1999 or 2007 or 2012, when school slaughters across the country took a total of 74 lives. [Read More]