On Saturday 24th March, more than one million people marched across the United States in order to put an end to the free flow of arms. Around 800.000 people demonstrated in Washington DC with the slogan “Never Again”. More than 800 other marches were also organized in other American cities and elsewhere in the world. Since the Parkland slaughter last month, the high school’s survivors question the elected representatives and the powerful gun lobby, the NRA, so that restrictions of the carrying of weapons can be put in place.
United, bruised, but determined not to be silent, Emma González, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and Chris Grady are willing to move the lines on a very sensitive subject. The four young Americans survived the killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, on February 14th, and have become, for a few days, the faces of the struggle against weapons in the United States.
Speakers also emphasize the political weight of the mobilization, inviting the crowd to « get rid » of elected representatives who would take no initiative against weapons. Calls are then made to the youngest to register massively to vote.
The #NeverAgain movement launched by the survivors today benefits from the plasticity of similar previous mobilizations (#metoo or #TimesUp against sexual harassment). Indeed, this generation controls social networks perfectly and when it has a cause to defend, this generation is amazingly efficient.
Structure de l’article:
- On Saturday 24th March, around tens of thousands of students came to Washington DC to voice their dissatisfaction with gun violence. A giant march was organized in order to demand imminent reform of gun laws and express anger since the government isn’t able to protect them.
- Even though it may seem unhoped-for that the government will follow up on this demand, seeing all those children demonstrating was very moving.
- A student of a school where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting last month, called for revolution since such a mobilization could only lead to change. All the people involved in this march came from all walks of life, from all political parties, from all social backgrounds. A well-diverse crowd which points out the general willingness to put an end to gun violence.
- The mass shooting which occurred last month in Cameron’s South Florida school caused a stir, triggered deep alarm throughout the country and marked the beginning of a movement for change. Unlike before, regardless of the might of the National Rifle Association (NRA), militants make the most of social media to broadcast their ideas and rail against gun dangers.
- The movement has gained ground since even some businesses have made it a point of honor to break ties with the NRA or to change their policies on gun sales. Even Florida, a state which was quite lagging behind in gun policy, has enacted a law which prevents people deemed dangerous from owning guns and minors from purchasing them. The day before the march, Congress approved a budget bill: this bill advocates a better (but still modest) national background check as well as the end of the ban on federal gun research.
- If it be true that those measures won’t be able to respond entirely to the issue, it is a start and a proof that demonstrations bear fruits. The demands raised during the march are more advanced and insist on better regulation: students ask for a ban on assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines, expanded and universal background checks, and raising the legal age to purchase guns to 21.
- Not only are students eager to see regulation change after their protest march, but if no action is taken they won’t stop struggling. Those students make up the voices and votes of tomorrow. It is then crucial not to neglect their influence since they will be the ones voting for their future leaders, who will be obviously in keeping with their ideas.
The march which took place last Saturday hit the headlines. The giant demonstrations came to grips with the free flow of firearms and blamed the elected representatives for not taking measures against new mass shootings. The event bears witness to a general anger and may lead to a groundbreaking outcome as regards the 2nd amendment.
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If after each shooting in the US, the debate resurfaces, the NRA still appears untouchable thanks to its numerous and high-ranking supporters. The association doesn’t communicate on its number of members but the regularly claimed figure is 5 million, including some celebrities like Chuck Norris. The members, in exchange for a modest contribution of $40, enjoy different benefits, linked to the NRA network in distribution or in the aviation sector. Their lobbying may be qualified as efficient so far given that we count more than 357 million firearms across the country.
But the shock wave triggered by the shooting, which occurred ten days ago in Florida, not only had political consequences since it now affects the business world. Several groups have announced during the weekend the termination of their partnership agreement with the main gun lobby, namely the NRA. The assurers Chubb and Metlife, the cybersecurity specialist Symantec, the airline companies Delta and United Airlines, or furthermore the car rental companies Enterprise, Hertz or Avis have announced their decision to end their privileged relationship with the NRA. All those firms used to offer discounts and preferential rates to the lobby’s members. The NRA also has relationships with hotel chains, transports or distribution firms like FedEx.
- to voice one’s dissatisfaction with sthg: exprimer son mécontement à propos de qqch
- unhoped-for: inespéré
- heartfelt stories: des histoires touchantes
- to overflow: déborder
- to go on a rampage: se déchaîner
- the catalyst: l’élement déclencheur
- to fade from memory: tomber dans l’oubli
Spring is traditionally a time when schoolchildren come to the nation’s capital to learn about their government. But on Saturday it was the students — tens of thousands of them from all across the country — who did the schooling, with a mighty march on Washington calling for a stop to gun violence. Angry with government failure to protect them, disgusted that their safety comes second to the gun lobby, they demanded reform of gun laws. Now.
We know. Washington has seen a lot of marches. And it is probably folly to expect action from a Congress so resistant to change. But it was impossible, listening to the students’ heartfelt stories and seeing the numbers that overflowed Pennsylvania Avenue and the streets of other cities, not to be encouraged and to hope that these young people will succeed where the adults have failed.
“Welcome to the revolution,” said Cameron Kasky, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting last month. “Since this movement began, people have asked me, do you think any change is going to come from this? Look around. We are the change.” Among the striking things about the crowd was how diverse it was: There were young and old, black and white, suburban and inner-city, Democrat and Republican.
It was just 38 days ago that a gunman went on his murderous rampage in Cameron’s South Florida school. Unlike some other terrible shootings of recent years, the tragedy did not quickly fade from memory but instead became the catalyst for the survivors to start their own movement for change. Unafraid of the National Rifle Association and adept at social media, they have already scored some successes.
Businesses have taken action: Some cut ties with the NRA, and others changed their policies on gun sales. Florida passed its first gun-control measure in more than 20 years, including raising the minimum age for all gun purchases and giving greater authority to police to confiscate guns from those deemed dangerous. On the eve of Saturday’s march, Congress approved an omnibus budget bill that included a modest strengthening of the national background check system and lifted the odious ban on federal gun research. President Trump announced his administration will issue new rules to ban bump stocks.
Those measures, while welcome, are only baby steps in what is needed to better regulate guns and those who have access to them. Among the reforms cited by students taking the stage Saturday and those marching and carrying signs: a ban on assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines, expanded and universal background checks, and raising the legal age to purchase guns to 21.
It remains to be seen if the students will succeed in getting Congress to take some action. But they made one thing pretty clear — they aren’t going away. When they are able to vote — and for many, that will be soon — they could ensure that those who do go away are the ones who stand in the way of protecting lives.