This story was originally published in the Guardian and is republished here with permission. When the U. On April, 20,two boys murdered 12 students and one teacher before killing themselves.
It was an attack that could have been exceptional. Instead, its brutality has been made routine.
The series of mass killings that followed Columbine have failed to result in a dramatic change to U. Columbine was not the first school shooting in the U. In its wake, mass shooter drills became a normal part of the education system. And the federal government froze.
From until February of this year, not a single gun restriction bill advanced in Congress. The drought ended with a bill to expand federal background checks to all gun buyers and most gun transfers, closing a loophole that allows und gun sellers to not run background checks.
That bill is unlikely to be taken up by the Republican-held Senate, and the president has said he would veto it. School shootings are not the leading cause of gun deaths in the U. Inthere were 39, gun deaths in the U. But the idea that public spaces such as schools, churches and music festivals can be turned so quickly into killing grounds is one of the many outliers in the U. They were children during Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook.
The February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high schoolended the lives of 17 students and staff in Parkland, Florida. Teenagers at the school broadcast their disgust on social media and to television cameras, spurring the most prominent movement against gun violence in decades.
The students delivered impassioned speeches and challenged critics, while also building up what would be one of the largest student demonstrations in U. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered at marches and walked out of class, including at Columbine High School, in March in support of stronger gun control measures.
In the midterm elections, Democratic candidates were more outspoken about guns, and won. But Mauser has seen so many glimmers of promise before, that each one inspires a breath of caution.
Mauser knows better than most what it is like to tread through the muck of the gun control fight in the U. The NRA has for decades steered elections towards pro-gun candidatesdespite being less financially powerful than other lobbies. It relies on a minority of impassioned individuals to block laws and regulations favored by most Americans.
Mauser for 20 years has come up against that dedicated minority while pushing for stronger gun control in Colorado. At key moments in these campaigns, Mauser wears the same shoes his son was wearing when he died in April But the climate has changed since then, he said, with people who oppose gun restrictions more deeply entrenched than they were in the wake of Columbine, when he was able to speak with Republicans about possible gun restrictions. No matter how badly Mauser wishes this all to change, the Columbine anniversary is simply another day without his son.
High Country News at [ protected] or submit a letter to the editor. Christopher Jackson escorts students out of the classroom during an active shooter and evacuation exercise held at the school.
Noriko Kudo, U. Army Garrison Japan Public Affairs. Republish Like Tweet Print. As climate change exposes wildfire risks, tribes by the Rio Grande experiment with a four-legged technique to nibble away fuels. Two leading scholars discuss the complex relationship between Black and Native people.
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