American studies expert: Americans care more about the firearms dispute than for their children

04.03.2018, Washington.

US domestic policy expert Arystan Siraliev, in his interview to a correspondent from the Rossa Primavera Information Agency, commented the situation in the American media space around the recent shooting in the Parkland school that left 17 people dead.

Answering the correspondent’s question about the reaction to the school shooting in the US, the expert said, “Over the last 20 years, shootings in American schools have become something, which is no longer something extraordinary. The American public’s reaction to these ‘scheduled tragedies’ is also predictable. School shootings with numerous victims breathe new life into the argument between supporters and opponents of stricter gun control.”

The expert explained the historical background of this argument, “You have to understand that for the US, the argument around arms restrictions for individuals is something that affects the foundations of the American constitutional order. The US won independence though a war of its local militias against the British Empire, whose power was considered ‘tyrannical’ by the leaders of the movement for independence. The US Constitution, which was adopted in 1789 along with 10 amendments, was written in a situation of deep mistrust to any strong central authority, and the Constitution’s authors believed that a well-armed population would be a guarantee against new tyrants. Tellingly, the amendment to the US Constitution that guarantees free arms possession is the second in order. The only amendment that the Founding Fathers found more important was the one that guaranteed freedom of expression and freedom of religion.”

 “When American liberals propose restrictions on the population’s possession of firearms while accepting the use of army equipment by the police up to armored personnel carriers, many American conservatives believe that these actions fly in the face of the letter and the spirit of the Constitution because they deprive ordinary people of any chance to protect themselves against abuse by the authorities,” Siraliev continued.

Answering the correspondent’s question whether Americans are trying to understand what makes their schoolchildren commit such massacres, Siraliev said, “The last time this topic was seriously raised in the media was in 1999, after the Columbine killing. Then, many blamed violence in movies and video games. Today, this topic is not widely discussed, and it remains limited to specialized scientific publications. I think that one of the reasons why the issue of possible arms restrictions is so actively circulated by the American media is in an attempt to draw Americans’ attention away from the question of why their children have come to killing both each other and themselves so often, and what sort of changes in their society this indicates.”

On February 14 in Parkland, Florida, a 19-year old former student entered a school carrying firearms and activated the fire alarm. After the children began to run out of their classrooms, he opened indiscriminate fire, killing 17 schoolchildren. After this incident, a wave of protests took place in the US calling for stricter arms control rules. US President Donald Trump also expressed his opinion, suggesting that teachers should carry weapons.

Source: Rossa Primavera news agency

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