By Emily Horgan
Throughout the last two months, protests have been taking place all over America, regarding, the horrific school shooting in Parkland Florida where 17 lives were taken by a man wielding an AR15 gun. Survivors from Majority Stoneman Douglas high school have been voicing their opinions and demanding change. These students have managed to gain attention from many big news stations and tv shows, spreading their message of #NeverAgain.
The #NeverAgain movement signifies and represents that mass shooting should never be allowed to happen again and that, the people spearheading the movement, will go above and beyond to change the gun laws. In February, 100 students met with lawmakers in the Florida state capital to advocate for gun control which lead to them having an open discussion on the change they want to implement. Minor changes have slowly been occurring due to the drive and determination of these incredible teens. An example being, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods, two of America’s leading gun sellers, limiting their sales of firearms.
Walmart, the biggest gun seller, announced on 28 February, that it would not sell guns to anyone under 21 years of age. They also said they would no longer sell items resembling assault-style rifles, including toys and air guns. Early the following day, Dick’s said they were immediately ending sales of all assault-style rifles in its stores. The retailer also said that it would no longer sell high-capacity magazines and that they would require any gun buyer to be at least 21, regardless of local laws. Under federal law, a person must be at least 21 to buy a handgun from a firearms dealer but 18-year-olds can buy semiautomatic rifles and other firearms.
I think that because of the strength these teens have showed, positive changes will continue to be made. Do I think that America will get rid of all guns? No. I think guns will always be in the US because of the American love of the second amendment, however, stricter laws will be coming and I believe further changes will be made.
So, what’s the hold-up? Support for gun control is extremely high, but Trump’s base could stand in the way. The holdup here is mostly due to the Republicans. They run a paralyzed Congress, and President Donald Trump, though talking a typically big game, has shown no real inclination to make a change… When it comes to gun control, the National Rifle Association is the name that comes up the most. This makes sense, though not to the extent some would have you believe. The NRA is powerful, for sure, but not only because of its spending. The organization also says it has 5 million dues-paying members. For many among the rank-and-file, blocking efforts to tighten gun laws is their top and the level of money they give makes the NRA so powerful.
Every time there is a serious attack involving guns, the arguments about the country’s gun laws start again. Even if a president in America thought the rules should be changed and the gun laws needed to be made stricter, he or she can’t just change the rules on their own but would need a lot of support from other politicians, who often don’t agree. Not only this, to change or remove an Amendment, ⅔ of the American Congress is required and ¾ of the American state legislators must also agree. Barack Obama, who was president of the US before Donald Trump, said that not being able to deal with gun control was the greatest frustration of his time in the job. But the current president Donald Trump says he supports gun owners’ rights. “Let me make a simple promise,” Mr Trump said in April 2017. “I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” So people right across America cannot agree about what should happen – and it doesn’t look like they are going to agree any time soon.