Is A Moral Movement For Gun Control Taking Hold?
For many years, big corporations have welcomed the opportunity to increase their goodwill with customers by partnering with the National Rifle Association (NRA), but has newfound pressure turned the tide in the gun control debate?
After the recent shootings in Florida, high school students across the country began a new wave of protests and reinvigorated the gun control movement. When kids protest, media and corporations take note.
Major corporations are feeling the pressure and at least a dozen companies announced they were cutting ties with the NRA. As we have seen with the #MeToo Movement, companies are paying attention to the public’s perception of their affiliations.
The #MeToo Movement forced media companies to part ways with movie stars and television personalities. Now companies are distancing themselves from guns and the NRA even despite the staunch vocal support of NRA members.
Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, two of the biggest retailers in the country have announced stricter gun control measures on gun sales in their stores. Both companies have raised the age for buying guns at their stores to 21. Walmart has even agreed to stop selling toys that look similar to assault style weapons.
School shootings have raised the NRA’s profile and the controversy around the organization in recent years. President Trump’s election in 2017 appears to have pushed the NRA into further extremist wings. The NRA is now often associated with the alt-right. Fear and extremism is not unfamliar to the NRA. During the CPAC conference last week, NRA president Wayne LaPierre delivered a pro-gun address while speaking about a “tidal-wave” of European style socialists bearing down upon everyone and telling them that they should be frightened.
Most Americans know that this is not true and if recent reports are to be believed, most Americans want gun control, while 97% support universal background checks and 70% prefer that all guns be registered with the police.
Trump’s response to the shootings in Florida was to propose offering bonuses to armed teachers. Teachers in the U.S. need more money for school supplies, better classrooms, more assistants and not to be burdened with the responsibility of carrying firearms. The backlash against Trump’s proposal was widespread.
One question was missing. What if we did arm teachers, when would it stop? Do we arm priests and ushers and rabbis to protect our churches and synagogues? Do we arm movie theater employees? Do we station guards with assault weapons outside of each store in the mall? What about concerts? If more guns is the answer, what kind of society are we heading towards?
Perhaps the Florida school shooting has changed things. In Florida students got angry and got vocal. High school students stand at an interesting precipice between child and adulthood. Every school shooting has shown over and over again how our society has failed our children. But these children in Florida are on that precipice of adulthood and they are not too young to see the hypocrisy of our politicians. Something has happened in Florida where they understand their power now.
Some of the more outspoken students from Parkland have received cyber threats and vicious attacks from conspiracy theorists and gun rights advocates. But they aren’t afraid and the continuation of attacks on the Parkland survivors/high school students/children only increases sympathy for their cause and rallies support around them.
These children/high school students/survivors are angry and they may have rallied a moral movement for stricter gun control laws around them.