Sudden change: What happened to anti-shooting activism? (Editorial)


Lillianne Hogsten

Sarah Rendon poses with a “NO GUNS” sign in support of the gun control movement. This writer asks, why have we stopped talking about gun control?

Many people think back to the gun limitation movements of early 2018, with some of the biggest being the national walkouts and marches that occurred. That begs one big question for the past few months: What happened to this activism?

There seems to be differing reasons as to why it disappeared. Levi Gelsinger, a senior at Carlisle High School, believes that it isn’t because of the people.

“[Activism] is triggered by the news and when people see that stuff, that’s when it becomes a big deal,” Gelsinger said. “All of this stuff happens only when there’s a major school shooting.”

Overall, there seems to be no definitive evidence as to where it went. No current articles seem to exist through internet searches on the topic while I have found plenty that were published from February to May in 2018. In just a few months, the articles on the subject went from being published often to not being published at all. There are many examples of both.

One CNN article published on Feb. 21 and written by AJ Willingham is titled, “Gun control’s newest activists aren’t backing down. But true change will be a long haul.” CNN has not made any more articles on the subject and it seems to have faded from their news. They are not the only source to prove this decline, though.

A completely different article by Dan Whitcomb of Reuters states that “[students] plan to maintain their activism through the long summer break.” CNN, Reuters, and other similar news sources have not made any articles recently on the subject of the anti-gun activism, which shows a heavy decline from the vast amounts of articles published earlier in 2018.

The decline shows that this was not the case in the end with seemingly no idea as to where it disappeared to. The lack of articles and movements on anti-gun subjects, especially surrounding schools, have plummeted, which shows a sharp decline in activism in just a few months.

Alongside this all, the official Women’s March National School Walkouts finished on April 20 and there has been no effort put forth by the Women’s March Youth to restore the program through their website or social media. Their Twitter and Instagram show nothing of their previous activism efforts and they’ve spent very few posts even talking about the subject.

This comes at a time in which there were two shootings, one at a school and one an anti-Semitic shooting at a synagogue within a week of each other with very little activism other than the occasional Twitter post. The Women’s March youth branch only tweeted in response to the North Carolina school shooting, and it was only once. This compares to the past, as they were the ones who started the National School Walkout and tirelessly called for activism at every shooting just months ago.

On a similar idea of lack of activism, articles show less enthusiasm toward a movement against the shooting and tend to point toward fixing them silently.

One reason that a decline in activism could have occurred is the installment of regulatory laws surrounding guns. Yet as a hunter, Gelsinger heavily believes that this is not the cause.

“It hasn’t affected me at all, ” said Gelsinger. “Nothing has really changed, but I know that in other states, laws have been passed[…] restricting people’s second amendment rights. If anything, it’s really helped the gun industry… more people are buying guns because they’re afraid.”

Between opinion and fact, there is obviously a lack of activism over gun violence, especially in a school setting. This could be even more of a problem in the future, if gun violence continues to be a major problem without any activism to limit these shootings. It also poses shootings to be less of a threat than they truly are, as there have been over 20 reported shootings in only this past month that have left people wounded or dead.

Overall, this is a matter of importance in more ways than one and activism against shootings will seemingly continue to stay in the background for the time being. If there would possibly be more media coverage or online suggestion regarding shooting activism, there would most likely be more public response. I believe that this would help to push for a solution to the shootings that plague the US.

Disclaimer: Articles designated as “Editorial” represent the views and opinions of the author, not the 2018-2019 Periscope staff, CHS/CASD administration, or the CHS student body.