In the wake of yesterday’s horrific, which saw a killer take the lives of at least 19 children and two teachers, #EnoughIsEnough has been trending on social media just like it or something like it does every time there’s a particularly monstrous mass murder in the US.
The thing is that evidently enough never is actually enough.
In Texas, a state I left aged 10 to move to the UK with my mum, tornados aren’t uncommon, so we used to have storm drills when I was in elementary school.
I remember the seriousness with which my kindergarten teacher explained that we should make sure we cover our heads with our arms because ‘it’s better to have a hurt arm than a hurt brain’.
These days, shooting drills in which children are taught that classrooms should be locked, lights turned off, and hiding places packed with their little bodies are considered just as vital to their safety as those storm drills were to us.
Something else that does the rounds every time there’s a particularly heartbreaking mass shooting is a 2015 tweet by journalist Dan Hodges that reads: ‘In retrospect marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.’
I think about that a lot because he’s absolutely right. Now, a decade after a shooter stormed an elementary school, killing six teachers and 20 six and seven-year-old children, we’ve found history repeating itself. Enough wasn’t enough then, and I can’t labour under the illusion that it will be enough now.
Time is a flat circle; everything old is new again and the cycle of mass shootings in the United States is just that – a cycle that we’re seemingly doomed to repeat as the nation buckles and breaks under the weight of the antiquated Second Amendment and The National Rifle Association of America’s
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.
Share your views in the comments below.
Do you find OkayWap useful? Click here to give us five stars rating!