America is a failed nation state. If the main duty of a nation state is to protect its people from harm then America is a failed nation state. This is something the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that claimed the lives of fourteen students and three members of staff, has demonstrated.
Nearly five years after the Sandy Hook elementary shooting in which twenty-eight children were killed, America has not learnt. Eighteen months on from the Orlando Pulse Nightclub attack where forty-nine people were mowed down, America has not learnt. Even after the Las Vegas attack last year where fifty-eight people were gunned down, America has not learnt that its addiction to lead is killing the patient.
Stepping back as we always do, in the wake of one of these shootings we find that America is so enamoured with the trigger and its politicians so tied and seduced by NRA funding that not even a disaster of this magnitude can shift politicians’ votes. Less than ten days after the shooting in Florida, the state where the massacre was carried out, a bill was rejected that called for a ban on assault and semi-automatic rifles, with seventy-one votes to thirty-six . Similarly Marco Rubio, when asked by survivor Cameron Kasky if he would cease accepting funds from the NRA, simply said: ‘People buy into my agenda’.
This is in fact what the NRA has done. It has purchased American politics. Every politician that receives donations from them wears a noose around their political careers. To stand against the NRA or to speak against the Second Amendment as Marco Rubio had the opportunity to do, is to commit political suicide. This is the degree to which American politicians and as a result the American nation, has sacrificed itself and also its population to firearms.
Yet there is evidence that the NRA’s stranglehold on the United States could be beginning to loosen. At the time of writing (February 24, 2018) three major companies, Hertz, Enterprise and First National Bank, have cut ties with the National Rifle Association. In a statement on Twitter First National Bank stated that:
‘Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA. As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card’.
Whilst these withdrawals of support may not seem like major movements, they show at least that American businesses are listening to their youth population who are fed up with being mowed down by fellow citizens for going to nightclubs and attending college and high school.
The hope with regards to these protestations and resignations of support is that the NRA’s support will be whittled down to the point where politicians withdraw their support for the organisation, as well as the Second Amendment.
They say that the first step to solving a problem is accepting there is one. America’s young are suffering and rebelling because of the very fact that the Government officials and representatives have not accepted that there is a problem with America’s addiction to firearms and its love affair with the NRA. With recent protests and suggestions by governors such as Rick Scott to raise the legal age to own a firearm, we could be on the way to a reformed gun-free United States. This however will take time. And for any doubters reading this, remember, each great journey starts with one small step.
America knows that better than most.