In response to the tragedy of what happened in Florida yesterday, American children's writer and artist, Oliver Jeffers, posted this on IG:
'I made this piece over the weekend knowing it wouldn't be long before it was relevant to post.
The gun control debate isn't really about gun control anymore. It's about identity.
Those who identify as gun owners feel their identity is threatened when the issue of gun control is raised- that we shouldn't discuss policy change when emotions are high. But if the barrel from one shooting has barely cooled before there is another, this 'unemotional' window does not exist.
So how do we change the question?
Any gun owners out there willing to concede the culture of mass shootings in this country is pretty fucked up (doesn’t happen anywhere else), concede that a conversation is needed, and give clues how to go about it where it doesn't feel your identity is being hijacked?
It feels like sensible debate based on the societal impact of gun control ended the day of Sandy Hook- when Congress decided that shooting a bunch of little kids was preferable to questioning the right to bear arms.
Yes, a huge part of the problem is the NRA buying off Senators. But do the NRA really make so much money from current gun laws that they are not prepared to give an inch? Or is it that their identity feels threatened?
There is one thing Senators love more than accepting lobbyists money and that is getting re-elected, so if the will of the people demands it, they will jump in line.
But how do these atrocities go from outraging only half or two thirds of the country, to outraging the entire nation?
There MUST BE a more rational / creative way to go about the non-existent conversation on gun control where vast swathes of the population of the USA don't feel (pun intended) under attack.
Sincerely interested in hearing from gun owners on this.
This is the 18th mass shooting this year and we are only halfway through feb. On average there is more than one per day in the US.
Is this really just the way things will be?
Is it really just roll the dice and send your kids to school?
My kids will go to school before long.
I can only imagine the special hell that begins on a day like yesterday for all those Floridian parents, and so many parents before them in the last three decades....'