If all adults faced what children have to face, US gun laws would change immediately

Child hiding under a desk in a shoot out drill
Support us and go ad-free

A viral video has exposed the brutal implications of US gun laws for children.

If adults faced the same reality, gun laws would change immediately.

“And you can’t cry…”

The video, produced by campaign group March For Our Lives, lays bare the truth about school “active shooter drills”. An estimated 95% of all US school children regularly undertake these to teach them how to act in a live shooter scenario.

The video shows a young girl – called Kayleigh – sharing her expertise with a group of adults. The adults look stunned when the “expert” walks in. And as she gives guidance, many are clearly moved. “If there was an active shooter,” she begins, “you’d all be dead.” Because as she continues:

When you talk out loud, the shooter can tell where you are and where you’re hiding… And you can’t cry. It gives away your position and your hiding spot.

Every adult should watch the video:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free


Laws now require schools in 32 states to have some kind of active shooter drill, first introduced after the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. Since 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, “there have been at least 2,031 mass shootings” in the US. These killed “at least 2,310” people and wounded another 8,445.

As one group said in response to the video:

We are experts in active shooter situations…. experienced hiders and runners. We are .

Another group explained the implications of these drills:

Students should be worried about when their next math test is, who they’re taking to prom, and what they’re having for lunch – NOT what they’ll do to survive in an active shooter situation.

And as activist Emma González said, it’s vital for adults to understand this reality:

González survived a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida where 17 students and teachers were killed in February 2018. As The Canary reported, young survivors of this massacre sent an unequivocal message to Donald Trump. They criticised his response to the tragedy and demanded a review of US gun laws. Many survivors have led the campaign to change gun laws since then.

“Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to put a stop to gun violence”

Demands to change gun laws, however, are politically divisive. Because the National Rifle Association (NRA) is a powerful force in the US. It has spent “tens of millions of dollars… in support of gun rights”. Since 1989, the NRA and “gun rights interests” groups have also given “about $41.9 million” to election candidates and parties. Around “90 cents” of each dollar “went to Republicans”.

After nearly every mass shooting in the US, a stream of predictable responses emerges. Everyone insists that there’s an abundance of ‘thoughts and prayers’ for those killed, their families, and the survivors. But as March For Our Lives states:

Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to put a stop to gun violence. It will take all of us advocating for sensible gun violence prevention reforms to make it happen.

Trump, Republicans and anyone clinging to existing gun laws should take note. Because the generation working to change these laws are a powerful force. Many are approaching voting age. And they’ve had enough. They’ve already witnessed too much violence, and they’re demanding the right to live and study in peace; as all children should.

Featured image via screengrab

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us