We must listen to witnesses on the ground who are seeing abuse, duplicity, and the dereliction of duty firsthand. Our lives depend on their voices being heard. The op-ed by Sean Thomas, International Director of Investigations at Animal Equality.
Trump wants to arm teachers with guns to protect students
Trump’s idea to make schools safer in the United States is to arm teachers with guns. A scenario that brings us back to the short cartoon in Michael Moore’s documentary Bowling for Columbine.
US President Donald Trump has argued that arming teachers with guns could be a way to prevent school shootings, just like the last one at Parkland’s high school in Florida in which 17 people died at the hands of 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz on 14 February. “A gun-free school is a magnet for bad people. Highly trained teachers would serve as a deterrent. Attacks would end!”. Trump’s declaration got people thinking, and discussing, about the real measures and solutions to gun violence in the country. In this debate, the short cartoon titled A brief history of the United States of America – from Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine documentary – inevitably comes to mind. The animated short film traces the historic and controversial relationship between the Americans and their own fears and, by consequence, with guns.
Bowling for Columbine and arms in the US
Bowling a Columbine, directed by Michael Moore and awarded an Oscar as best documentary in 2013, tells the story of fire arms in the United States focusing on mass shootings in schools. In particular, the one that took place in 1999 at the Columbine high school, Colorado, which was planned and carried out by two armed boys who, after diverting aid with firebombs, killed 12 students and a teacher and then killed themselves.
Nearly 20 years on, history repeats itself dredging up issues like safety, weapons use and the incredibly accessibility to guns that make up the American culture. A culture that, as Michael Moore underlines in his documentary, is used to respond to fear with guns. “Rather than arming teachers with a firearm, I would rather arm them with the knowledge of how to prevent these acts from happening in the first place,” Nicole Hockley, mother of a six-year-old child died at Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012, told Trump.
Meantime, teenagers of the Parkland high school, together with the civil society, politicians, celebrities and the international community, are urging the Trump administration to have a gun control reform. Also, they will take part in the March for our Lives in Washington D.C. on 24 March to call for safer schools and less weapons. Because it’s about time to face, once and for all, the elephant in the room.
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