5 things we all learned from Emma Gonzalez
This senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School gave a lesson to the entire country in a speech against permissive gun-control policies.
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Surviving a mass shooting in a school should not be the turning point in the life of any child or adolescent. But in the United States, it seems that money and politics are more important than the safety and the lives of its citizens.
According to extensive research carried out by the Mother Jones platform, in the last 50 years, the Second Amendment has allowed around 1,827 deaths in mass shootings, and this situation shows no symptoms of change either in the legislation or in the political perspective of our leaders.
But it was the voice of a young woman after the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Florida what has fueled a movement that says "Enough is enough" and that will make the Republican majority and the Trump Administration responsible for this social crisis, through what is perceived as a social Revolution.
“Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving. But instead we are up here standing together because if all our government and President can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see,” said Emma Gonzalez in a speech that has gone viral around the world.
Gonzalez, with a broken voice and fighting tears of anger, decided to call things by their names and separate political proselytism from the fateful reality that many, like her, have lived thanks to the permissiveness and legislative stagnation that the country suffers around gun control.
These are the 5 things that we should all learn from her speech:
"Since the time of our Founding Fathers and since they added the Second Amendment to the Constitution, our guns have developed at a rate that leaves me dizzy. The guns have changed but our laws have not," Gonzalez said. Influenced by the English Law of 1689, the Second Amendment was described by Sir William Blackstone as "the auxiliary right" of self-defense and resistance to oppression, and "the civic duty to act in defense of the state", a legal framework that in no way resembles the situation experienced by US citizens in the hands of mentally unstable people driven by hatred against their fellow citizens while carrying a semiautomatic assault rifle.
Gonzalez explained how the situation derived from the limited arms control in the United States has transformed our nation into the only country in the world with this type of situations without apparent resolution. According to the CNN analysis, "Americans have more weapons per capita than any other country", reaching 89 weapons per 100 people. Likewise, the United States represents less than 5% of the world's population but it hosts 31% of the mass shootings globally.
"How about we stop blaming the victims for something that was the student’s fault, the fault of the people who let him buy the guns in the first place?" Gonzalez continued referring to President Trump's Twitter message where he condescendingly derived the blame, once again, on someone outside the government.
"If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association," Gonzalez said. Several independent investigations have frequently reported - especially after fateful episodes such as the one in Florida - the exorbitant numbers of donations made by groups such as the National Rifle Association and the gun lobbyists, who only during the electoral cycle of 2016 donated almost 6 million dollars to Republican candidates.
Seeing these young people - close to turning 18 and joining the voting masses of the country - taking the reins of their reality, calling things by their name, calling their political leaders without any convoluted speech in between, is a unequivocal symptom of what independent Senator Bernie Sanders called "the revitalization of American democracy with more and more people standing up and fighting back." After the presidential speech of the State of the Union, the Vermont Senator anticipated the phenomenon to which young Gonzalez has joined: "When ordinary people stand up and fight for justice, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. That has been the history of America, and that is our future."