Friday, 18 Jan 2019

This week brought some electoral breakthroughs for gun control advocates and then another mass shot

After 17 students and staff members were murdered in the hallways and classrooms of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, earlier this year, the surviving students sparked a wave of activism. Across the country, Americans marched through the streets, declaring that they tolerated the killing of innocent people in schools, churches, discos, cinemas and concerts. And they promised that in November they would send this message to the politicians.

Between the shooting in Parkland and today, 10 people were killed in another high school in Texas, 11 Jewish people in a synagogue in Pittsburgh and 12 people, probably students, at a bar in California late Wednesday night. And these are just very fat mass shots. That does not include the five journalists killed in their newsroom in Annapolis, nor the shootout in the middle of a yoga class less than a week ago – that will not make any list at cause of the seven victims, only two women died.

This has become the tragic norm in the United States.

But something seems to have changed Tuesday night.

Yes, Parkland activists were disappointed that the gun rights candidates won the victory in their home country (although the governors of Florida and the Senate are now heading for a recount), but the Country candidates who ran shamelessly with a gun control message scored huge victories.

Instead of evading the gun issue for fear of the powerful attraction of the National Rifle Association, Democrats have put it in the foreground in their campaigns. Especially in the suburbs – where the Democrats made huge gains Tuesday night – armed anti-violence groups spent millions of dollars, collectively investing more in federal races than the NRA.

On Thursday, as news of a new shootout was getting ready, Democrat Lucy McBath, a gun control advocate who lost her son during a deadly shootout in 2012, sealed her victory in a Georgia House district formerly owned by Newt Gingrich. McBath, who was inspired to run after Parkland, told his personal story.

"It is unfortunately not surprising that the same day that I formally became a member of Congress, other families in this country receive exactly the same call as the one I had received six times ago. years, when I learned that my son had been murdered, "she said. A declaration. "As a member of Congress, but especially as a mother, I pledge to do everything in our power to make our communities safer."

In another gun control victory, Democrat Jason Crow defeated incumbent Mike Coffman (right) in a Colorado district including Aurora, a suburb of Denver where 12 people were killed in a movie theater. 2012, not far from Columbine High School. . Crow, a veteran of the US Army's rangers, told the Washington Post last week, "The convention in districts as vibrant as this one is, do not deprive it, not in a purple or light blue district. . It's a problem in the corner. But I think the danger is not to take that anymore. "

Another notable victory is Jennifer Wexton, the Democrat who crushed acting representative Barbara Comstock (R) in Virginia, where gun policy was a huge dividing line between candidates.

With the dramatic increase in mass armed violence, public opinion on firearms policy has evolved considerably in recent years. Although Americans roughly oppose the ban on assault weapons, 92% of those polled believe that there should be a background check of all sales of the same. firearms, according to a Gallup poll.

The Democrats' victory in the House is also a major asset for gun control advocates, who will now urge their candidates to pass anti-violence firearms legislation. Even if it will not get anywhere in a GOP-led Senate and with President Trump in the White House, it will give a major advantage to the 2020 presidential campaign if Democrats in the House push it.

And there is a precedent for bipartite action. As a result of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, during which 20 children ages 6 and 7 were murdered, several Republicans voted in favor of a gradual change in legislation on firearms, such as background checks. He was narrowly defeated but hinted that there was room for a compromise.

The Senate card for 2020 is not as friendly for Republicans as this year. Meaning. Susan Collins in Maine and Cory Gardner in Colorado and even Thom Tillis in North Carolina may not want to oppose the powerful gun control lobby.

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