Six out of 10 Americans believe it’s more important to address gun violence than protect gun rights, according to a recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll. But what will it actually take for the US to address its epidemic of mass shootings? Especially when politicians seem so divided on the issue.
On May 24th, a man entered an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas armed with a semi-automatic rifle, and gunned down 19 children and two adults in cold blood. Since then there have been several more massacres – at least 18 to 20 – but it seems Americans can’t even agree on what constitutes a mass shooting.
Last week the democratically controlled US House of Representatives passed a series of tough gun measures in response to the shootings. But those bills are not likely to pass in the senate. However, a bipartisan Senate group announced Sunday that it had reached a framework for potential gun safety legislation but no formal bill has been written yet,.
In a recent Washington Post op-ed, former homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson said America needs an Emmett Till moment in order to address the country’s problem with mass shootings. Till was a 14-year-old Black teen who was tortured and shot in the head in 1955 by two white men because they felt he improperly spoke to a white woman. Till’s mother insisted on an open casket at his funeral and a picture from that day helped sparked the civil rights movement.
On this episode of The Stream we discuss the political divide on gun violence in the US and what it will take to finally bring about change.
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