With the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, the well-known news cycle that accompanies school shootings in the United States was once again seen internationally: the information starts to come out first and everyone is on the edge of their seats , hoping that as many people as possible survive, or that all the worst details are simply shared as soon as possible so that it can be discussed around the table. Then come the exclamations of disbelief and condolences. Politicians express their sadness over the tragedy, religious people offer prayers. Next comes the argument. It’s the guns, the lack of guns, mental health, rifles, bullying. It is discussed and then forgotten.
This event broke families, changed lives forever. In the end, however, we know that it will not be the last of its kind
It is important to see who have been, statistically, the biggest perpetrators of gun violence and who has been the narrative around guns.
“Masculinity and gun violence have a complex relationship which has been shaped systemically, culturally and politically and is deeply rooted in the patriarchy” (iansa)
The normalized version of masculinity is one of dominance and violence:
Even in leading roles, men in the media tend to be portrayed as aggressive and dominant. The accepted masculinity is that of cisgender, heterosexual, and without disabilities – so that any divergence is seen as the “other” and put in conflict with what it is to be “man”.
It is around these images that modern society builds masculinity, giving rise to acts of violence and terrible tragedies.
Craig Rood, a professor at the University of Iowa explains that the need for guns for many comes from a sense of need to “protect”, but that this connection between weapons and protection is not natural, but humanly constructed. It is important to question protection from whom and for whom? What is security?
With this tragedy that the world seems to be leaving behind, and perhaps closer to the next one than we imagine, we have to rethink the discourse of security and violence at a global level. There is a long way to go, and perhaps the route to a more secure future is not yet obvious to us, but one thing that is clear is that the response must be anti-racist and anti-patriarchal.