A new publicity campaign from the ‘Moms demand action for gun sense in America’ project has struck chords. One image has reached viral status on Facebook and other social networking sites over the past week. The haunting photograph depicts two girls, roughly 9 years old, sat cross-legged in a classroom with an American flag hung dutifully in the corner. Writing above the two girls reads ‘One child is holding something that’s been banned in America to protect them.’ The girl on the left holds an illustrated copy of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’: the staple children’s tale of a wolf, a grandma and a girl. In stark contrast, the girl on the right sits devoid of emotion; however, with impeccable posture, she grasps a semi-automatic assault rifle, her fingers resting loosely over the trigger.
”Meticulous attention to protecting irrational, incredulous and irreversibly damaging firearms rights presents a multitude of tragic ironies.”
Last week, in what President Obama described ‘’a pretty shameful day for Washington’’, the US senate rejected a proposed gun control reform bill. The bill outlined sensible (if timid) amendments to the US’s liberal outlook on firearms control, proposing universal background checks on gun purchases amongst other efforts. The fact that 42 of the 45 senators rejecting the bill received ‘donations’ from the pro-firearms lobby, highlights the subordination of public wellbeing to the interests of a radical minority. Simultaneously, it blindingly exposes the operational parameters of the 2002 McCain-Feingold act. Furthermore, the National Rifle Association argue that ‘’expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools’’.
Gun control discourse in Washington clearly emanates a dearth of prudent thought. The action taken in Washington is antipodal to majority opinion: a recent poll revealed over 90% of households owning firearms are in favour of universal background checks. Moreover, meticulous attention to protecting irrational, incredulous and irreversibly damaging firearms rights presents a multitude of tragic ironies. Extraordinary for the publicity campaign above, the children’s fairy-tale ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ was banned by various state school boards for presenting alcohol in a positive light. Contradictorily, there are no restrictions on presenting a cheerful depiction of weaponry for hunting in literature aimed at children of the same age group. This irony embodies a wider trend where prudent reasoning is eschewed to the imperative of protecting an unscrupulous deficiency of universal firearms control policy.