Americans mourn, protest, and pray but mass shootings continue.
“Armed Response,” the sign by the driveway read. I snapped a picture. And one more. And one more. I was 21 years old and visiting the US for the first time. Many years later, I moved here with my husband and children.
I have no sense of direction and often get lost. Street names and house numbers will never make sense to me. I drive up and down streets until I find the right house or call for help when picking up or dropping off kids.
This week two young people were shot because they accidentally drove up to the wrong address of a private homes. A 16-year-old African American boy from Kansas City was picking up his younger twin brothers from a playdate and was shot when he rang the doorbell. A white 20-year-old woman from upstate New York was visiting a friend and entered the wrong driveway. As she was turning her car around, she was shot. Both were lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood. The boy survived, while the woman paid with her life.
In effect, “Stand Your Ground” means that you can shoot at a person on your property and claim that you were “scared” – and not face any punishment. Since the law was introduced in 2005, it has spread to nearly 30 (primarily Republican) states. Not surprisingly, there has been an increase in the same states in fatal shootings by private citizens.
For a young Danish woman like me, it was crazy to see the signs in California. I remember thinking: Will you be shot at if you walk up the driveway? I swept it away – my Danish head could not fathom that it could be like that.
But that’s how it is. Here, it can cost you your life to sell girl scout cookies, deliver pizza, be a mailman, deliver Amazon packages, proselytize – and to be a young person accidentally knocking on the wrong house or drive up the wrong driveway.
Politikere i USA: »Flere våben i civile hænder er lig med større sikkerhed«
Amerikanerne sørger, protesterer og beder til deres Gud. Men intet hjælper på skyderierne.
We are traumatizing ourselves. As long as guns are easily accessible, there will be no change – not after the latest school shooting or the next or the next after that.
I have never touched a weapon, not even skeet shooting – despite living in the United States, notoriously obsessed with the principle of the right to bear arms.
Yet they are always present in the back of my mind, guns. When I’m at the movies, I check the room to see where the nearest exit is and remind the children to play dead and throw themselves on the floor if something happens. When I toured my son´s new school last week, one of my questions was how they made sure outsiders did not have access to the building.
When we moved to the USA, my children were six months and two years old respectively. We regularly passed fenced in schools, reminiscent of barbed wire at borders and prisons buildings. We were very clear on the fact that our children would never go to a school that looked like that.
But something happens when you become part of a society where guns in the public sphere is the norm. Earthquake exercises, exercises on what the students should do if there is a bear in the area, and exercises on an “active shooter” at school becomes part of the children’s everyday life. My kids and American kids starting in Kindergarten know exactly where to position themselves in a classroom to avoid getting hit if there is an active shooter at their school.
“I am nine!” reads a sign, a child is holding. A group is protesting after the latest school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, where three children aged nine and three adults lost their lives. Since I moved to the US, there have been more than 400 school shootings. “We’re traumatizing ourselves as a nation,” someone said on NPR the other day. Over and over we hear the phrase “thoughts and prayers.” They will not help. Common sense politics have been cast to the side, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of the population is in favor of restrictions on access to fully automatic firearms.
Still, nothing happens. Money and politics have never been a good cocktail. The fact that the craziest barrels rumble the most has not proven to be good for the country either.
Yesterday in our local park I met an elderly lady. She looked after her sister’s grandchildren. Her own children had no intention of bringing children into the world. The conversation touched on the school shooting at the Catholic private school this week. As a kid, she had attended a Catholic private school, as had her children. She was angry – and she felt hopeless. The attitude of giving up has set in, people don’t understand that this is where we are – and they don’t know what to do to change it.
One in four weapons produced is a semi-automatic weapon – i.e. the ones we see in school shootings, which can fire 30 shots and range 400m. With such a weapon, you don’t have to “waste” time reloading your weapon, but can mow down one elementary school class after another.
As long as there is virtually free access to guns, we will see school shootings – and experience children and adults with lasting trauma. The trauma has spread to the whole country, regardless of whether you are directly affected or “just” hear about the shootings on the news. The heartbreaking thing is that it doesn’t have to be this way. In the United States, the leading cause of death among children and youth is now gun violence. Every single day a mass shooting takes place. Gun violence is part of very young children’s everyday life. A five-year-old shoots his one-year-old brother, a three-year-old shoots himself when he finds a gun on his parents’ bedside table, a person goes berserk in one school shooting after another, teenagers with hurt feelings and crushes shoot each other, the list goes on and on in a country, that have more guns than inhabitants. It does not require a lot of brain power to see the similarity between access to guns and the catastrophic consequences on our souls and bodies.
Is it really that identity we want to pass down and normalize?
All Americans can do is to vote and hope for political change. But as long as access to guns easily accessible, change will not happen. Not after this school shooting or the next or the next after that. Meanwhile, the population sinks further into hopelessness, fear and hatred.
Bosat i USA: Masseskyderier er en del af hverdagen – her hjælper hverken ”thoughts” eller ”prayers”
USA traumatiserer sig selv. Så længe adgangen til våben er, som den er, sker forandringerne hverken efter dette skoleskyderi eller det næste eller det næste igen.
Never before have we soon that many mass shootings in such a short timespan in the United States. The number one cause of death for children and youth in the United States is gun violence.
“This is the second mass shooting I have lived through,” said a female student in an interview with CNN on Monday after a shooting at Michigan State University. Since Columbine in 1999, 300,000 students have been in school during a school shooting. 90% of teenagers killed are girls. Every single number is a human being who either died or experienced the consequences of America’s insane gun access. It’s gut-wrenching in a way that makes the reality I live in almost unbearable.
I can’t write this column accurately and fast enough before another mass shooting is reported.
Never before has the United States experienced so many shootings in such a short time. 71 mass shootings according to the Gun Violence Archive – in six weeks. The definition of a mass shooting is four or more dead or injured, not including the perpetrator. America is experiencing an epidemic, but politicians are not acting. Meanwhile, children and young people grow up with drills to increase their chances of survival if they experience a school shooting. 4.6 million American children live in a home with a loaded gun that is not in a secured, locked cabinet. It’s crazy, it’s sick, and it’s the primary reason I can’t fully embrace the country I call home.
After the Covid 19 pandemic, which kept many children and young people home for more than a year, the number of shootings increased. In 2021 alone, there were 250 shootings in and around schools, four of which fell under the category of mass shootings. Last year there were more than 300 shootings on school grounds. The worst school shooting occurred in Texas, where 22 were killed and 17 injured. Shots are fired at basketball games, in school cafeterias, in classrooms and in school parking lots. Each death often represents a child.
It’s absolutely insane! A shooting at a school should send the whole community into a frenzy, make people take to the streets by the millions, make everyone write their representatives to force the politicians to do something. Society should reach a stand still until something was done to make it safe to send the most vulnerable, our children and young students, to school.
I can’t write this column accurately and fast enough before another mass shooting is reported. Today is February 18th and there have already been 17 mass shootings – this month! On television, at municipal meetings, in public hearings, parents stand with a picture of their child and account one heartbreaking story after another – and describe who their beautiful child who is no longer in this world because of guns. The attitudes around gun laws have become so polarized that you are put in an extreme box on one or the other side of the political spectrum when you speak out.
I refuse to become numb, I refuse to shrug. I refuse to accept the how some Americans insist on their beloved second amendment. We are at a stage where we only hear about shootings in the news if they take place at a school, university, or is racially or religiously motivated. When something is sick and heartbreaking, it doesn’t become any less unfathomable due to its number. I choose to hold on to that, even if it tears my soul to pieces.
I don’t really care if the perpetrator was bullied as a kid, hates people of color, women, gays, or had a tough childhood. When you live in a country where there is virtually free access to guns that fire 30 rounds per second, you get a society like America. Denmark and Europe would look like the USA if they had the same attitude towards guns as we have here.
One thing is how traumatizing it is for children and young people and the rest of society to have to navigate a world where the risk of being in public must be constantly considered. It’s another thing to experience and survive a mass shooting. I think about how they experience the psychological toll, the inability to focus, having your childhood upended instantly, and losing faith that the adults will look after you. It is unbearable to think that someone puts the right to bear arms above the well-being of our children and their right to live a life of safety and security.
The United States is the only Western, democratic country that has mass shootings as an epidemic scale problem. Every day, 12 children in the United States die as a result of gun violence, 32 are shot or injured. There is no reason to believe that Americans are more violent, mentally ill, or stand out significantly from an ordinary Dane. But the easy access to guns, meant for warfare, makes the outpouring of hatred, anger and destruction is so much more deadly.
Jeg er fløjtende ligeglad med, om gerningsmanden er blevet mobbet som barn, hader sorte, kvinder, homoseksuelle eller har siddet skævt på potten
Aldrig før har der været så mange masseskyderier på så få uger i USA. Den største årsag til børns og unges død i USA er våben.
The victims of mass shootings in the United States are more than those we bury. I do not want to understand the perpetrators of mass shootings. Others must do that. I have no room in my heart to explain and understand why they are also victims.
How do you describe the deepest grief of parents who have lost a child in a school shooting and are now sitting in a courtroom listening to their child’s name and cause of death read out loud while a 22-year-old killer and the rest of the world look on? The other day, CNN broadcast live from a courtroom in Florida, where the perpetrator of the Parkland shooting was to receive his sentencing. At 19, he killed 17 people at a high school with an automatic riffle.
For several days, I have been thinking about how to describe the grief. No words can seem to be sufficient. No matter how we all feel, nothing compares to the feelings of those who loose loved ones.
Grief is hard as flint and soft as a heart. It is expressed in the chain bearing a son’s name in gracefully curved letters above a silver heart around a mother’s neck, it is seen in the upturned red-rimmed eyes fastened to the ceiling of the courtroom, it is evident in the tapping of a manicured index fingernail on a mother’s upper arm, it is present in the gaze set on infinity as the camera zooms in as the name of a son or daughter is read aloud. We watch it, grief, in the involuntary muscle movements around a mouth in an attempt to control emotions in a public space where the world is watching.
In the courtroom, parents, siblings and grandparents were seated across from the defendant, who was awaiting his sentencing. Wiping away tears, I had to look away. To me, the panning seemed too invasive.
But I was also affected because these parents are living my worst nightmare.
For me, it began with the mass shooting at a school for 0.-5. graders, Sandy Hook in 2012, where a 20-year-old man shot 20 children aged six to seven and six adults. At that time, we had been living in the US for two years and were still in that phase where most things were new and exciting.
My children were two and five years old, the same age as many children at the Sandy Hook school. That day, scales fell from my eyes, and I woke up abruptly to the reality that has since been a part of every day life here in the United States. I started telling my kids what to do if they were in the theater with the school and something bad happened; I talked to them about what to do at the cinema, at school – wherever they were if a bad guy did something.
Every month, all children here in the United States have some sort of exercise to prepare them for possible disasters such as “active shooter drills”, bears, earthquakes, lockdown, lockout etc. That´s just part of their everyday school life. My children learn at which angles to hide in their classroom, so that they are not visible from the hallway if there is a gunman at school; they learn to run from school to the nearest neighbor if they are in a situation where they can; they learn to hide in classes while continuing their school work if there is a lockout.
Since the day small children were murdered at Sandy Hook, according to Time, almost 1,000 shootings have taken place at schools and universities in the United States. More than 300,000 children and youth have experienced gun violence in American schools. It is a reality they live with. It is a reality we as parents live with.
I do not want to understand the perpetrators of mass shootings. Others must do that. I have no room in my heart to explain and understand why they are also victims.
My values have shifted since I lived in Denmark. Of course, I was not in favor of the death penalty, what a barbaric thought, what a resigned attitude to the possibility of rehabilitation of fellow human beings! But the USA is not Denmark. Here, a young person can waltz into the nearest gun or sporting goods store and acquire an automatic weapon designed for use in war zones and drive straight to the nearest elementary school, where six and seven-year-old students sit and draw, and gun them down.
So the US has changed my values. I know, research shows that long prison sentences do not equate rehabilitation. But for my faith in the judicial system and in the system overall, I want the death penalty when there is absolutely no doubt about who the perpetrator is and no question of his or her guilt in a heinous and cruel act of criminality such as a school shooting.
The man who murdered 17 people in cold blood at a high school, including the three adults who heroically ran toward the assailant and tried to help the high school students escape, will spend the rest of his life in prison. I would rather see him get electrocuted than a life of more prison violence against officers, love letters from women all over the world, as well as books and films written about his life.
My daughter just started high school. The other day she showed me around her school. “Here is the band room, here we have chemistry, over here algebra.” She is a happy teenager, full of life and a desire for learning. While my eyes darted about, I followed her from classroom to classroom. “How exciting, honey!,” I managed to say before the next sentence flew out of my mouth: “Do you know where the exits are? Do you know how to get out as quickly as possible?’
Without a flinch, she answered in the affirmative. Because we are all victims in this country, and we live with that as best we can.
USA har ændret mine værdier: Skyderierne har gjort, at jeg går ind for dødsstraf
Ofrene for masseskyderier i USA er flere end dem, vi begraver. Jeg forholder mig ikke til gerningsmændene. Det må andre gøre. Der er ikke plads i mit hjerte til at forklare og forstå, hvorfor de også er ofre.
In the United States, the Supreme Court’s announcements are political – which is why their decisions this week are all over the place
A religious, American football coach prayed with the players on the field after the matches – and now has the Supreme Court’s word that it is perfectly ok.
The Supreme Court has taken Americans hostage in a right-wing religious propaganda stunt that is dividing the population more than it already is.
Here in my state of Washington, a football coach has become known nationally overnight. The story centers around Joseph Kennedy, who was the coach of the local high school team. After each match, he prayed, often with several of the players. Some have later said they felt obliged to participate – it is after all the coach who chooses which players get to play on the field. When the school district learned about the coach praying on public grounds, they asked him to stop, which he refused. That got him fired from his coaching job.
I imagine the Russian tennis coaches at our local club praying to their orthodox God, after the kids have finished their backhand exercises, I see for my inner eye how my son’s Colombian soccer coach extracts a crucifix from his front pocket instead of a yellow card and gathers the kids around him to some Roman Catholic cheer, I see myself standing for the flag and national anthem at my kids swim meets while being forced to see the coaches standing with their arms up in the air, rocking back and forth, praying as if the Holy Spirit were upon them. You get the point: Jews, Muslims, Hindus and all sorts of other faiths and ways of life that force feed our kids and everyone around them with their religious beliefs.
The football coach in my state of Washington, who felt that his right to practice religion had been violated, took his case to court. Today, the Supreme Court ruled. He and everyone else has the right to practice his religion in public.
The verdict falls on the tail of last week’s Supreme Court announcements that have sent shock waves around the country. Among other things, we learned that Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms in New York and all sorts of other places in the public domain. The following day, we learned that women do not have the right to make decisions over their own bodies. When it comes to choice and family planning, the states have the right to decide that a woman cannot choose to have an abortion. Indeed, The United States Supreme Court is busy these days waging a war on values.
But what if coach Joseph Kennedy´s name had been Yousuf Kamal and he instead of praying to a Christian God had rolled out his prayer rug and invited the players to turn their faces towards Mecca with him after every football game? Would the Supreme Court ruling have ben the same?
If there is one thing Europe is learning quite rapidly these days, it is that religion in the public sphere is a dangerous cocktail. Religion can be an integral part of a culture in our activities at school and in the workplace when the population is homogeneous and most belong to the same culture and religion.
That’s not how it works in the United States. Here the population is one great conglomeration of peoples with vastly different cultures and religions. Unlike in Denmark, it is build into the the American fabric that religion and state must be separated – it does not require a doctorate in either religion or political science to see why that constellation is a good idea if you want a society to function as peacefully as possible. The fact that we in the United States more than ever are moving into a value-based legislation rooted in Christian dogmas is far from the notion most Americans have of the powers of the legal system.
So what happens in an environment where the politically appointed Supreme Court justices are more than busy pursuing rulings based in politics? They may think they are doing what they are set to do by Trump, to please his base, when they announce their ultra-right-wing conservative rulings. But one day, it will not be a right-wing Christian who is praying with the children, but a radical Muslim, a Mormon, or a Jehovah’s Witness. Like Joseph Kennedy they will believe they have the right to practice their religion where ever they are. And they will have the Supreme Court´s ruling to back them up. Maybe it’s a matter of time before young people, and all of us, come to stand as spectators at sporting events, where we are taken hostage in a religious propaganda stunt that can only divide the country more than it already is.
The Supreme Court’s announcements this week point in different directions. We now know, it is more important that an individual has the right to bear arms in the public sphere than the sense of security and safety of the surrounding citizens. Conversely, it is not the individual woman herself who has the right to choose over her own body, it is a decision that elected politicians at the local state level. And in terms of practicing your personal religion and trumpeting it to everyone who is near you, well, then again, it is the individual´s right that stands above people’s sense of discomfort.
So, now this is what I have to look forward to: Being pray to other people’s religious beliefs being forced on me when I just want to see my kids run around and have fun at some sporting event. Land of the free? Well, for those hardcore gun loving, religious fanatics, maybe.
New York does not want people carrying weapons in public. But a new Supreme Court ruling states that is against people´s constitutional right.
The Supreme Court pulls in one direction and the Senate in another. Meanwhile, we have to get used to being with live shooters if we move outside the door.
The US Supreme Court has ruled that it is against the “second amendment” (which gives a citizen the right to possess and carry a weapon) if a state tries to make restrictions on whether people can carry a weapon in public space.
A few weeks ago, the United States had a school shooting that was one of the worst in the country’s history. Nineteen children and two adults were killed, most of the children between the ages of eight and ten. The Americans were in shock, parents demanded changes to the gun laws, and politicians in the Democratic Party once again saw an opportunity to try to get tighter gun laws through.
In the United States, Supreme Court justices are appointed politically. Trump elected three judges, all with ultra-conservative, Christian views. Although Trump is no longer in the White House, the reverberations of electing these Supreme Court justices will shape U.S. law and society for generations to come.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my kitchen talking to a man about gun laws in the United States. The mood was respectful even though we were far apart in values and opinions. One of his remarks stood out, and gave me an idea of what people who believe in equality and tighter gun laws are up against.
“You want to have the right to decide over your own bodies. I support that. You can do what you want. I as a man do not have any right to go against that. But at the same time you want to take my right to bear arms away from me. You cannot insist on an individual right on one hand but not on another.”
Rhetorically, it is a rather ingenious argument – even if it does not make sense upon closer inspection. Initially, it makes sense to insist on the individual’s right to own and carry any weapon and as many as possible and compare that directly to a woman’s individual right to make a choice about her body.
“The difference is that you can kill an entire school class in one minute while the woman is not harming anyone,” I replied.
“I would argue otherwise,” the guy said. “She kills too, she kills her child.”
I was dumbfounded for a second. But that´s where we are, that’s where many Republicans stand. The Supreme Court is aware of this, and their role is t stand by the base that Trump has placed them to represent. We now see the consequences of this, because the Supreme Court is currently making a name for itself with controversial announcements.
A short time ago, a document from the Supreme Court was leaked. It made it clear that the court intents to reverse Roe v Wade that ruled that the woman’s right to choose over her own body was higher than the state’s right to make restrictions on her right to an abortion.
Today came another announcement, this time about the right to bear arms in public space. The case was about New York but will have consequences for the whole country.
Both decisions wil make white men feel as if they are in control when they tell women that they can not decide for themselves what they want to do with their body. At the same time, they can strut up and down streets and alleys with their weapons as an extension of the masculinity they so clearly do not possess – and seen in the light of who got the Supreme Court judges appointed, that war on values targets women and minorities.
So dear Danish tourists: Welcome to the wild west. If you’re planning to take a trip to New York, be prepared for that pit in your stomach when you can visibly see people carry guns. And prepare for what every American child knows by heart because they practice it several times a year, namely what you will do if a shooting takes place in the subway, in the mall, or in the public space.
In the United States, the answer to guns in the hands of bad guys is apparently more guns in the hands of good guys
For many Americans, individual liberties are more important than gun restrictions.
‘The children quickly get used to an armed guard at school. After a few days, the older, retired sniper is a part of their everyday life. “
“In the United States, we have a pandemic when it comes to shootings. This year alone, we have had more than 250 mass shootings, 38 since the school shooting in Texas two weeks ago that cost 19 children and two adults their lives.
I am struggling to find the right facial expression, not quite sure how to react. A man from a local furnace company is sitting in my kitchen. He is originally from Texas and likes to share his political views while making calculations on various heating options that might be relevant for my home.
“But is it not problematic that we have to have this debate in the first place?”
In the United States, we have a pandemic when it comes to shootings. This year alone, we have had more than 250 mass shootings, 38 since the school shooting in Texas two weeks ago that cost 19 children and two adults their lives.
“There are more weapons in the United States than there are people. They’ll never take our weapons from us.” I do not comment on his use of “they,” because that view on society where the fear of the government as a regulatory monster, I’m not interested in going into.
What I am very interested in is hearing his thoughts on what he thinks should be done about the situation the United States is where mass shootings are part of everyday life.
“It is a right and an honor to carry a gun. When I carry a gun, I have made a decision. I am ready to sacrifice my life if a situation arises where I have to protect myself or my fellow citizens. “
It’s not often I get the opportunity to talk to someone with viewpoints so different from my own. Fortunately, he was more than willing to share his views, and the conversation stretched far and wide with a respect for each other’s views. One thing was clear after our conversation: For many Americans, the right to individual freedom is more important than restrictions.
Not once did he mention calling the police. Instead, he listed quite a few scenarios where I myself would either jump out the window and run away or call the police, but where the natural reaction for him was a confrontation with an automatic weapon.
The conversation made me think about American society in general. Because the conversation was a clear example of why nothing significant is going to change in America´s weapons legislation – even if the media is still dominated by discussions and conversations focusing on what can be done in relation to weapons legislation and access.
Maybe there will be a subordinate change that has no real effect, but we will not see any radical changes – not even after angry actors, grieving mothers, frustrated politicians in favor of restrictions in the legislation, are pleeding and appealing for changes in gun legislation.
The salesman in my kitchen was no cliché Texan with a cowboy hat and bulletproof vest. He was an ordinary, kind, proud American – who fully and firmly believes in the right to bear arms. Also the kind that fires several shots per second.
And he was of the opinion that legislation would mean restrictions for ordinary law-abiding citizens like himself – and if there is one thing individualistic freedom-loving Americans do not want to be a part of – it is to have their freedoms reduced. In fairness, he was open to changing the laws so that 18-year-olds should only be allowed to use an AR-15, the same weapon that the 18-year-old perpetrator used at a Texas school two weeks ago, in the company of an adult.
“Your political survival is subordinate to the survival of our children.” Those words were uttered yesterday by Nancy Pelosi, Democrat and leader of the House of Representatives.
Protect Our Children, is the name of the bill that went through the House and is now going on to the Senate, where it will without a doubt be buried along with all the other bills that seek to implement restrictions on guns.
Every time I visit an office building, I have to go through a security screening before I am allowed to enter.
This is also the case at my children’s schools, where I can not just walk in but have to wait outside before I am buzzed into a middle office, where I then either have to wait for my child to be called from his classroom, or must register to be allowed to enter the school.
Maybe the salesman who was sitting in my kitchen yesterday is right: In a short time, I might be chatting with a visibly armed guard when I pick up my kids at their respective schools? Because in this country, the answer to weapons in the wrong hands is apparently more weapons in the hands of good guys.
As long as Americans love their guns more than they love their children, we will see school shootings. Again and again and again.
An 18-year-old bought an automatic weapon on his birthday and then shot 19 children and two teachers
“It is with a heavy heart that I receive the news of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.”
The email from the school superintendent at my daughter’s school begins with these words. I did see the email ticking in a few hours ago. “Uvalde, Texas School Shooting,” the subject line read.
But I did not open the email. Could not, had to wait a few hours before I was able to read. Eventually, I couldn’t put it off any longer. What if the email said something I needed to know – for the sake of my own children?
Shortly after our family arrived in the United States, a school shooting that is now known as the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting, took place at a school for students from 0.-5. grade. 20 children and 6 adults were mowed down by a man with an automatic weapon. The school’s internal system had quickly announced that there was an “active shooter”at the school, and the teachers followed the safety protocols that they and the children had regularly practiced, and hid in closets, barricaded doors to classrooms, and stayed away from windows and doors. They did everything they could. And still, they were hit by tragegy.
I especially remember the Sandy Hook school shooting more clearly than others. Partly because it caused very young children their lives, partly because that day changed something fundamental in me that had to do with grief and anger over what defines how Americans relate to principles and common sense.
Today, I again find myself in a state of shock. I am overwhelmed with grief. It’s something different to experience the news when you live here in the United States and have children who go to a similar school and watching the TV screen show the pictures over and over again than it is to sit on the other side of the globe in Europe and read about an incomprehensible American system that makes such tragedies possible.
I thought for a long time that I had such a hard time understanding the relationship to weapons here in the US because I was Danish. But many Americans share my disgust for a hardcore, antiquated cowboy approach to what is here known as “the Second Amendment,” which is about Americans’ right to bear arms. The fanatical religious approach to the wording of the constitution is nauseating – and puts politicians backed by the arms lobbies and arms manufacturers higher than the lives of children and citizens.
“If you think that tragedies like the one that Americans go through every single week cause Americans to buy fewer weapons, you are wrong. Every time a shooting finds its way to the media and people are afraid that there will be regulations in the right to bear arms, there is a queue in front of the arms shops.
And what happens now? Absolutely nothing, of course. Joe Biden has condemned the atrocity, asked the Americans when enough is enough. But he has no real power to do anything. Texas’ governor and prominent Texas politicians such as Ted Cruise are repeating the old phrases about the right of the individual and that it is not the way forward to ban the carrying and buying of weapons. Perhaps Ted Cruise is signaling to the nation’s largest arms lobby, the NRA (National Rifle Association), that everything will continue as planned when they gather for a conference this coming weekend – in Texas.
The man who completed his insane shooting yesterday was 18 years old. As a birthday present, he gave himself various weapons, including an automatic weapon and ammunition. But the mass shooting yesterday is far from the only one that has taken place in the United States this year. In this country, we do not hear about all the mass shootings that take place. If that was the case, the media would spend all their air time reporting on than that. Only a few mass shootings break through to the media, but this year alone, not even halfway into 2022, more than 200 mass shootings have taken place in America.
However, when school shootings involve young children the media reports on it. It’s the same process every time: News hosts with deep sympathizing voices interviewing crying relatives, audio recordings where we hear screams and shooting, pictures of children running scared from buildings, according to the drills they have trained for, and politicians saying they are praying for the victims and their families. Republicans who do not want to change the law and introduce stricter gun control. Democrats who highlight the bloody and morbid relationship by the United States to legislation that gives Americans the right to bear arms in a country that has more weapons than residents.
And meanwhile, in my children’s schools, drills are being carried out every month. Drills that teach them what to do in the event of an earthquake or how to react if there is a bear in the area. I’m fine with those drills. But on the same day as the school shooting in Texas took place, my daughter had an “active threat drill” which is about how students should behave if there is a school shooting at their school. I have not yet learned to relate to these drills in a levelheaded way.
And if you think that tragedies like the one that Americans go through every single week cause Americans to buy fewer weapons, you’re wrong. Every time a shooting finds its way to the media and people are afraid that there will be regulations in the right to bear arms, there is a queue in front of the arms shops. Sales are rising, more deadly weapons are finding their way into American hands.
And what do you do after reading the email from the school superintendent? You talk to your children. If they want to. Because when I gently told my daughter that there might be some at her school who would mention a school shooting, she let me know with her short “okay” that she did not want to talk about it. I check again, prompting another way to engage. “Okay,” she says again with the same dismissive tone. And that’s a human way of reacting, too. By closing off. Because this is her everyday life. She must always be on alert, navigating a reality where she knows a school shooting could at any time happen. I understand her way of shutting this fact out of her life. She is powerless, has no say when it comes to the adults’ mindlessly incomprehensible priorities. Because as long as Americans value their right to bear arms more than the safety of their children, school shootings will take place – over and over and over again.
The Danish debate about insane speeding is similar to the gun violence debate in the United States
When you lend someone your car keys, it can end up costing lives – and, yes, you have to take responsibility if something happens.
In several states in the United States, parents can be punished if their child or teenager gains access to and uses a weapon that has not been stored properly.
In Denmark, parents, boyfriends and leasing companies can have the car confiscated if they borrow or lease it to someone who is taken in a crazy drive.
This is how it should be – both in the USA and in Denmark. As the owner of a weapon or a car, you have a responsibility for your property and can not just wash your hands and hide behind the fact that you did not know it would end the way it did, with a shooting or with a child who becomes killed or maimed.
There are several arguments in play when I hear the Danish debate. Some believe that the owner of the car can not be held responsible if things go wrong. To that, I would simply say that it is a evasion of responsibility of one’s own responsibility and the role of parent.
I doubt that even the same parents would find it okay for the state to deprive them of various rights because they were not deemed fit to be able to make the right moral choices themselves. If one wants to be deprived of responsibility on one point, one must be willing to consider how that argument ends in its ultimate consequence – and that is a rather frightening scenario.
As a parent, boyfriend, friend, landlord, you have a responsibility. Talk to the person you are lending the keys to, imprint on them the responsibility of getting into a potential death machine. And do not lend the car if you think the person can not live up to the responsibility it is to drive responsibly.
Another argument is downright unsympathetic. It sounds something like this: Young people have speed in their blood, they have nowhere to go for the desire to give the gas that man has always broken the law, and it will continue to do so, no matter what the economic consequence is.
What has just gone wrong in a person’s head thinking like that? The argument leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to dealing with personal responsibility, how the relatives’ lives can be changed with a flick of the finger and never be the same again after they have been told that one of their loved ones has been subjected to insanity. consequences.
This scornful attitude towards other people’s lives, unsympathetic and rather obsessively emotionally underdeveloped attitude, makes it run cold down my spine. What kind of citizens are they when they are not behind the wheel?
And as for car renters, could they appropriately think about their responsibilities instead of just focusing on rental income? With the possibility of penalizing, it could be thought that their algorithms pretty quickly make it impossible for insane drivers to qualify or afford dead-driving in muscle cars.
It is probably very good that parents are being punished, so they may be able to think a little about what irresponsible citizens they have raised their children to become.
This is the United States – and here we have more guns than people
Yesterday, New York was declared a state of emergency due to an alarming increase in shootings. Then you are going to New York, there are some areas you should avoid.
When you are a tourist, it can be difficult to know if the area you are in is safe. I experienced this when I was in the United States for the first time. I was in my early 20s and found myself with my travel companions in Los Angeles. We stopped at a gas station and wanted to ask for directions.
“Get in the car, lock the doors, and drive! Do not stop if you hit a red light, “said the man. I stumbled back into the rental car and we drove with beating hearts out of the area as fast as we could.
I will never forget it. And I never forget the feeling of not understanding what was going on – of not being able to read the signals of the surroundings. For I did not have the feeling of being in danger or of being in an area that was dangerous. Not until I was made aware of it.
I lived in Denmark and was a tourist in the United States with all the blindness it entails. When you are in a strange place, everything looks different and the codes are different than you are used to – therefore it can be difficult to see that you are in a place where your life is potentially in danger.
The state of New York has had an explosive growth in shootings of more than 75 percent since the onset of the corona pandemic . In what is usually the most festive weekend of the year here, namely the 4th of July weekend, there were 51 shooting episodes in the state.
Even after the state has gained some control over the virus that shut down the city of New York in particular and made a large portion of the state’s especially younger uneducated residents unemployed, the shootings continue.
Therefore, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has declared New York a state of emergency. At the same time, millions of dollars have been allocated so that the hardest hit areas get help with programs to help young people out of the criminal environment.
Cuomo , of course, is afraid that the city of New York will get a bad reputation, and tourists will not return after the corona hell it is recovering from. But he is also afraid of the future of both the state and the city of New York in relation to all the citizens who sought out and away during the pandemic and who may not return.
If you have the resources to seek refuge when the crisis hits, you will not return until you feel that it is safe and secure to return to the big cities. It’s a problem, because New York risks withering away and falling into violence, chaos and shootings instead of flourishing with tourism and affluent dollars, which make business thrive and citizens’ incomes rise with all that entails of a society that works.
Maybe this will be a wakeup call for the people who are so lucky to live in a bubble, and who have never before had to take a stand on the life that thousands of black families and Latino families have to deal with with their hearts in their throats every day when they try to take care of their work, support themselves and send their children to school.
It should be a human right to live in an area where there is no risk of being slapped down on the open street. But this is the United States, and here are more weapons than there are inhabitants. And when the crisis is raging, it really does – especially if you live a life where you hit the very bottom of society very quickly. It is not an excuse for the violence, the murders and the horrific crime that carry so much horror with it. It’s just a finding.
So before you explore the exciting residential areas far away from 5th Avenue and the hip shopping streets when you visit The Big Apple, just check online to see if you plan to take the subway or an Uber to an area where your Senses do not respond to the dangers that may be there, even if they are not visible to you.