Firearms, gun control and politics – 2018 student movement

Written by  //  March 24, 2018  //  Justice & Law  //  Comments Off on Firearms, gun control and politics – 2018 student movement

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24 March
Organizers estimate 800K people in DC for march so far: report
The current estimate of March for Our Lives attendees exceeds most estimates of President Trump’s inauguration crowd size. The Washington Post estimated in 2017 that around 600,000 people attended Trump’s inauguration.
Thousands of American students gathered all across the country, inspired by the student survivors of the Parkland, Fla. school shooting who organized the D.C. march
Students march for gun control Protesters, including a number of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, are demanding more action from lawmakers to keep schools safe, with most calling for increased gun control and less influence by the pro-gun National Rifle Association. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Delaney Tarr called for lawmakers to ban assault weapons, tighten background checks and shrink magazine capacity. Half a million people are expected to attend the D.C. rally, with hundreds of similar events planned in every state and on every continent, including in several major cities. Gun control marches being held in all 50 states and six continents
Photos posted on social media Saturday morning from international marches showed thousands of young people in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden and other nations marching in solidarity with U.S. students.

15 March
National School Walkout: Thousands Protest Against Gun Violence Across the U.S.
(NYT)  A month ago, hundreds of teenagers ran for their lives from the hallways and classrooms of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and staff had been shot to death.
On Wednesday, driven by the conviction that they should never have to run from guns again, they walked.
So did their peers. In New York City, in Chicago, in Atlanta and Santa Monica; at Columbine High School and in Newtown, Conn.; and in many more cities and towns, students left school by the hundreds and the thousands at 10 a.m., sometimes in defiance of school authorities, who seemed divided and even flummoxed about how to handle their emptying classrooms.
The first major coordinated action of the student-led movement for gun control marshaled the same elements that had defined it ever since the Parkland shooting: eloquent young voices, equipped with symbolism and social media savvy, riding a resolve as yet untouched by cynicism.
Boston students show up on school snow day to protest gun violence Students in Boston marched from the city’s Park Street Station to the state house in protest of gun violence, participating in the national walkout despite their schools being closed for inclement weather.

12 March
Conceding to N.R.A., Trump Abandons Brief Gun Control Promise
(NYT) President Trump has abandoned his live-on-television promise to work for gun control measures that are opposed by the National Rifle Association, instead bowing to the gun group and embracing its agenda of armed teachers and incremental improvements to the existing background check system.
After the Florida high school massacre last month, Mr. Trump explicitly called for raising the age limit to purchase rifles and backed 2013 legislation for near-universal background checks. He chided Senator Patrick J. Toomey, the Pennsylvania Republican who helped write that background check legislation, accusing him of rejecting the higher age limit “because you’re afraid of the N.R.A.” Mr. Trump later told lawmakers that while the N.R.A. has “great power over you people, they have less power over me.”

7 March
A majority of Republican lawmakers in the tightest congressional races are changing their message on guns, expressing new support for restrictions after last month’s high school shooting in Florida, according to a Reuters review of the candidates’ public statements.

28 February
Walmart and Dick’s Raise Minimum Age for Gun Buyers to 21
(NYT) The dual announcements, made two weeks after 17 students and staff members were killed in the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., were among the most significant actions taken on guns by corporate America. Both retailers said their decision were a response to the shooting.

27 February
We studied thousands of anonymous posts about the Parkland attack — and found a conspiracy in the making
(WaPost) Researchers say it’s difficult to know whether any single message board was decisive in pushing conspiracy theories about the Parkland shooting to prominence on YouTube and other mainstream sites. But Donovan, the Data & Society researcher, said far-right sites are increasingly capi­tal­izing on current story lines to promote hyperpartisan claims, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and media attacks in order to boost their audiences and advertising revenue.
“You don’t have to know the truth,” she said. “It’s just as effective to hint that a conspiracy is afoot.”

24 February
One of the best analyses so far
The Parkland Students Aren’t Going Away

American teens are shaping a new kind of debate about gun violence—but why now?
(The Atlantic) The aftermath of a mass shooting in the United States can feel like an all-too-familiar play.
Act I: Some combination of grief and shock and terror ripples across the nation, accompanied by a deluge of news coverage.
Act II: Gun-control advocates leverage the moment to call for stricter laws; those who oppose such restrictions offer their thoughts and prayers to victims but argue that gun control won’t help.
Act III: the inevitable deadlock. America moves on; America forgets. Nothing changes, except for those for whom everything has changed. Public opinion on gun control remains as divided as ever.
That play is following a different script this time around. The curtain has stayed up on Act II, as survivors of what is now the deadliest high-school shooting in modern U.S. history have prevented the play from proceeding along its typical trajectory. “We call B.S.!” chanted Emma González—a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior whose face has since become a symbol for this exploding youth-led political campaign—at a rally last Saturday. Since then, the Parkland, Florida, teens’ tweets, essays, and television appearances—equal parts fierce determination and fervent agony—have been the public-facing cry of what they have dubbed the “Never Again” movement.

Florida students take on NRA, set eyes on midterm elections
(Reuters) – In the week since 17 of David Hogg’s classmates and teachers were gunned down in Florida, he and his fellow high schoolers have launched a movement that reshaped the gun control debate almost overnight and may influence the U.S. midterm elections.
Staring boldly into TV cameras, Hogg and other students who survived the Feb. 14 Parkland school massacre, have demanded lawmakers restrict gun sales and are targeting politicians funded by the pro-gun National Rifle Association (NRA) lobby.
They have taken to social media to urge peers to hold a National School Walkout on March 14 and converge on Washington ten days later for the “March For Our Lives.”
Plunging into a debate that has long polarized America between those defending gun ownership as a constitutional right and those demanding measures to stop mass shootings, the students are now focusing on the November elections. … The students’ movement is forcing donors to cut funding to the NRA and pressuring lawmakers to stop taking money from the politically influential gun rights group.

Delta and United Join Companies Dumping the NRA
Car rentals, banks, movers, and security firms cut ties with the gun advocacy group following the Parkland high school massacre.
(Bloomberg) Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. became the latest companies to cut ties with the National Rifle Association after a call to boycott the lobbying group became a top trend on Twitter Friday. The online furor continued into the weekend after the NRA’s leaders attacked the media and Democrats, claiming the fallout from last week’s Florida high school massacre was being politicized. … Their announcements followed similar moves Friday by security-systems makers Symantec Corp., owner of Lifelock, and Simplisafe Inc.; Hertz and fellow car-renter Avis Budget Group Inc.; movers North American Van Lines and Allied Van Lines; and insurer MetLife Inc.

NRA lashes out at boycotts as more corporations sever ties
While it’s unclear what effect the corporate snubs will have on the gun rights organization, they have given the #BoycottNRA movement a string of rapid, prominent victories
(WaPost) The group has faced public anger before — after the massacre of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, for example. But it has always fought back against pushes for new gun laws, and efforts to significantly restrict firearms inevitably die out as public fury over the shootings ebbs.
But outrage over the Parkland shooting — sustained in part by politically active teenagers who survived the massacre — has shown no signs of fading. Police say a former student killed 17 people with a legally purchased semiautomatic rifle, one of at least 10 guns he owned.

20 February
Colbert: Students taking action on gun violence ‘give me hope’
“There is one group that does give me hope that we can do something to protect the children and sadly it’s the children. The students from Parkland, Fla.,” Colbert said. “These students saw their leaders doing nothing and said ‘hold my root beer.’”
Colbert praised the students for organizing school walkouts and a march in D.C. scheduled for next month. He highlighted that the students went to Tallahassee on Tuesday to “beg” lawmakers to reinstate the assault weapons ban only to see legislators vote against the bill.
Lawmakers feel pressure on guns
A large reason, aides and lawmakers alike say, is the emotional pleas from students who survived the shooting — and who have expressed horror at the idea that nothing will be done in response to the killings of their schoolmates.
The grass-roots movement, dubbed “Never Again,” has kept an extra layer of pressure on members to enact stricter gun laws and take other steps to prevent future massacres.

17 February
Florida student Emma Gonzalez to lawmakers and gun advocates: ‘We call BS’
(CNN) Companies trying to make caricatures of the teenagers these days, saying that all we are self-involved and trend-obsessed and they hush us into submission when our message doesn’t reach the ears of the nation, we are prepared to call BS. Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS. They say tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call BS.

16 February
A ‘Mass Shooting Generation’ Cries Out for Change
(NYT) They were born into a world reshaped by the 1999 attack at Columbine High School in Colorado, and grew up practicing active shooter drills and huddling through lockdowns. They talked about threats and safety steps with their parents and teachers. With friends, they wondered darkly whether it could happen at their own school, and who might do it.
Parkland Students to President Trump: Stay ‘Far Away’ From Us
Few imagine that the president would provide any comfort. Many fear he will make things worse.
This pretty much says it all.
(Daily Beast) “Several senior Trump aides expressed concern to The Daily Beast that Trump could potentially find himself in a situation in Parkland where he is trapped with grieving parents or students who harangue him about his administration’s position on guns, creating horrible optics and more negative press for the president.

14 February
Death Toll Is at 17 and Could Rise in Shooting
(NYT) A heavily armed young man barged into his former high school about an hour northwest of Miami on Wednesday, opening fire on terrified students and teachers and leaving a death toll of 17 that could rise even higher, the authorities said.

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