It had been in the works. Instead of engaging in the traditional revulsion associated with a mass shooting, or even digesting the grief of outraged students and grieving parents, US President Donald Trump’s solution to guns violence was elementary. To target the perpetrator, it was necessary to arm instructors, mount the barricades, and raise the stakes.
His address of February 15 was hackneyed but drew the lines of barriers and defence. It was a description of a dysfunctional environment, one further bloodied in the wake of the shootings in Parkland, Florida.
No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning.
A week later, he had met some of the survivors of the shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, adopting the familiar pose as radical agent of change, a person who would do things differently from his impotent or indifferent predecessors. At the very least, he would do something.
I listened to their heartbreaking stories. I asked them for their ideas, and pledged to them that we will take action, unlike, for many years, where people in my position did not take action. They didn’t take proper action. They took no action at all. We’re going to take action.
In fact, he claimed confidently, work was already being done by his administration to target guns – and criminals. Little distinction here is…