No number of school shootings will change anything in the US

History just keeps repeating itself (Picture: Jintak Han/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

Every time there’s a particularly monstrous mass murder in the US, #EnoughIsEnough starts trending on social media.

The response to yesterday’s horrific, which saw a killer take the lives of at least 19 children and two teachers, has been no different.

The thing is that evidently enough never is actually enough.

I left Texas when I was 10, but something I remember distinctly was tornado drills.

The main advice was to use our arms to cover our heads because ‘it’s better to have a hurt arm than a hurt brain’.

Now similar advice is being given to children, not because of the weather, but because mass shootings have become so common.

So common, in fact, that it is no longer possible to find anything original to say about them.

We all thought something would change after Columbine. We all thought something would change after Virginia Tech. We all thought something would change after Sandy Hook.

However, as journalist Dan Hodges said in 2015: ‘In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.’

History has repeated itself and calls off ‘enough is enough’ will inevitably prove not to have been ‘enough’.

We’re in a cycle doomed to repeat itself as the US buckles and breaks under the weight of the dangerously antiquated Second Amendment and the huge sums of lobby money from the National Rifle Association of America.

Now, just 10 days after a deadly racially-motivated , the world is reeling from what’s been the and of the year so far. The aftermath is unfolding in a manner similar to that which we’ve seen too many times before.  

It goes like this: after the news of the latest crushing tragedy breaks, pieces about the shooter and how they possibly could have become so broken and depraved will drop. Hashtags and thoughts and prayers will trend on Twitter as if they’re worth a damn. Mourners and survivors will campaign and the gun control debate will rage.

The suggestion that teachers, who are already underpaid and in cases like these laying down their lives to protect the kids in their care, should be armed is a take so perverse it makes my head spin, and yet it comes out of the mouth of Fox News pundits and on a regular basis these days – this time from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

There are those who would see a weapon in every classroom in the US before they implement reasonable gun legislation. While the gun control debate burns out like a flash fire, the rest of the world will only be able to shake its collective head, baffled and shocked at how things could have got this far.

Would I like to be wrong? Absolutely, but we have seen it unfold just like this time and time again. I’m not the only one convinced that they already know where it ends. 

Does that mean we give up? Of course not. You don’t need hope to push for change – it just really, really helps. 

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing jess.austin. 

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