Posted by DrJohn on 25 March, 2018 at 6:20 am. 4 comments already!


New York Magazine (!)


It’s been two weeks since a heavily armed psychopath turned Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School into a war zone — and the survivors of that massacre have already changed gun politics in the United States for the better.

With their acts of witness and advocacy, the teenage protesters of Parkland, Florida, shook many voters out of their complacency about pervasive gun violence. Upwards of 30,000 people lose their lives to firearms in our nation each year, a level of carnage unparalleled anywhere in the developed world. And yet, last October — just days after the worst mass shooting in American history — only 52 percent of Americans told CNN’s pollsters that they supported “stricter gun laws.”

Today, that figure is 70 percent — the highest it’s been at any time since 1993. Recent polls from Quinnipiac University and Politico/Morning Consult have produced nearly identical results. In Florida, long a bastion of NRA support, the leftward turn in public opinion has been especially sharp.

Moderate Democrats have had their “come to an assault weapons ban” moment. Moderate Republicans (such as they are) are imploring their party to move left on the gun issue. Major gun sellers are cutting tieswith the NRA and imposing their own restrictions on firearm sales. Even Donald Trump has called for strengthening America’s background check system.

By keeping the national spotlight on the mass murder at their high school — and calling on their peers across the country to walk out of their schools, so as to “no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings” in the United States — the theater kids of Marjory Stoneman Douglas have built the broadest public consensus for gun-safety measures that America has seen in a quarter-century.

But they’ve also (inadvertently) triggered a moral panic about the safety of America’s schools that has little basis in empirical reality — and which is already lending momentum to policies that would increase juvenile incarceration, waste precious educational resources on security theater, and bring more guns into our nation’s classrooms.


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