Demonstrators took to the streets in cities quite literally all over the world on Saturday to denounce gun violence. The events were spearheaded by students reacting to the most recent mass shooting, the one perpetrated by a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida against current students and faculty. The massacre left 17 people dead.
As well intended as I believe these marches were, I don’t think they will do any good. I don’t think they will do anything to end gun violence anytime soon.
You might as well march against the hot and humid weather in the summertime. No amount of marching or holding clever signs made from poster board will ever change how terrible the summer feels and it will never change gun violence.
Unfortunately, gun violence, like summers that feel like Satan’s armpit, is here to stay.
We have a disappropriate amount of violent people living in this country and more are born every day. Violent people have violent children who in turn have violent children of their own. It’s a never-ending cycle. At the same time, we have people with an almost fanatic attitude towards guns. They don’t just want to own one or maybe two guns, they want to own twenty.
The United States has more guns in circulation than it has people.
You can’t just march something like that away. No amount of well written, pithy poster boards will change that.
Compounding our gun violence problem is that we have smart people who actually believe the United States Constitution gives them the right to own military grade firearms for their own use.
Some people like to blame the Republican party and the NRA for today’s current level of gun violence. That’s fine, but the ban on military assault rifles expired during the George W. Bush administration. It was a poorly written provision signed into law by President Bill Clinton. After it was allowed to expire, Barack Obama, a liberal Democrat from the Islamist jungles of Hawaii became President. Both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate were controlled by the Democrats. Why wasn’t the ban on military assault weapons reintroduced during this time of total Democrat control?
No political party has ever tried to stop violent people from having children.
The gun violence problem we have has been a long time in the making. There are many people to blame. Future historians will have no shortage of causes for our current problems, including our problem with gun violence. Something these future historians will never blame gun violence on is our lack of marches or witty signage.
March if you want to, just don’t pretend that it will change anything.
Top photo: Todd Heisler/The New York Times