NEW YORK — As our youth and students take to the streets today to compel Washington DC to enact stricter gun controls, AF3IRM NYC sends its support and gratitude to the hundreds of thousands of young people who have decided to take control of the state of violence in this nation. By doing so, they take control of their and the nation’s future, marking a direction of development the opposite of the current reign of the rude, crude and deadly.
We are barely three months in the year and already 17 school shootings have occurred, with 130 school kids, staff, educators and family members killed. There have been 290 since the 2013 Sandy Hook massacre – from which some lessons should have been learned. In the aftermath, though, of the Parkland Florida high school assault which saw 17 students and educators killed, the entities, organizations and people clustered around the National Rifle Association’s interpretation of the Second Amendment – which ignores the beginning phrase “a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” – have doubled down on unlimited individual right to own and amass weaponry.
The only impetus for this intransigence is profit: the weapons and ammunition industry in the United States is a $50 billion industry. Gun ownership in the United States is estimated at 130 million to 300 million, a massive number which has done little to reduce crime. Instead, this easy access has enabled mass murder, often inexplicable mass murders like the Las Vegas shooting where 59 people died because of one lone gunman. There was no explaining, there could be no explaining, this kind of barbarity.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE — Root of all violence.
Even as we support the demands made by March For Our Lives regarding more stringent gun control legislation, AF3IRM NYC underscores the constant and persistent link – well-established, by now – between gratuitous mass violence and domestic violence. Domestic violence is linked, in turn, to misogyny and male entitlement, which doubles the sense of privilege of white males who comprise the majority of mass murderers in this country. Under the Trump Regime, we have witnessed overt displays of this double-barreled entitlement – from the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one woman died and several dozens were injured; to the most recent school shooting in Maryland, where a 16-year-old female student was killed and a 14-year-old male student injured.
In these incidents, we see the narrative affirming the right of toxic masculinity to kill. The Maryland shooter was described as a “love-sick teenager” while the 23-year-old white male who sent bombs to black people was said to have been “frustrated with his life.” The other side of this narrative coin, so candidly given, is that for such privileged white males to have satisfaction in their existence, women and people of color must become accessories of white male lives.
We condemn this continuing justification for femicide and condemn this persistent excuse for racism. We are grateful that the March For Our Lives has made a point about the ease with which black voices protesting violence were ignored. Women and people of color have been marching for their right to exist without the threats of violence and misogyny these many, many years.
AF3IRM NYC hails the students and youth who have taken on the task of molding a future for themselves. We hope that this commitment will continue and take on the urgent task of addressing social, political and economic violence which has made living in the United States exceptionally brutal and well-nigh intolerable.
We march with you today. And tomorrow. And on through the years, until we see a new civilization founded on freedom and liberty and security of life for all on this continent.
End Gun Violence!
Oppose the tyranny of the NRA!
Onward to the liberation of humanity.