America’s love affair with guns

Published on October 9, 2020 by

More and more Americans are taking a stand against a widespread gun craze in the country – especially since a rampage at a Florida school left 27 dead. But they face stiff resistance from a powerful weapons lobby, above all the National Rifle Association.

Since it was founded in 1871, the National Rifle Association has gone from a shooting club to a fighter for the unrestricted right to carry firearms – a political heavyweight that influences legislation and elections through donations to parties and members of Congress and the Senate – and practically co-governs in Washington. The NRA invokes the Second Amendment of 1787, which guarantees American citizens the right to defend themselves. However, at the time of the Founding Fathers, muskets were the only common firearm. Today there are about 300 million pistols and rifles in circulation in the United States, many of them rapid-fire devices.

The most popular weapon is the AR-15, a semi-automatic assault rifle that any 18-year-old can buy in most states – without a police clearance certificate or aptitude test. As we show, even children of pre-school age are being trained to handle this weapon. It was frequently used by the perpetrators of school massacres of recent years.

The issue of gun laws divides American society. As the survivors of the 2018 Parkland rampage and other young activists call for stricter legislation and control, the gun lobby and its supporters invoke their mantra: “To stop a bad guy with a gun, you need a good guy with a gun.”

In the past, all attempts to tighten US weapons laws have failed. Will the growing resistance of a generation of rampage victims finally succeed in putting a stop to America’s gun madness?

Online until: October 28, 2020.

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