There’s nothing like a gun control debate to get people fired up on Facebook. The platform lends itself to lengthy, preachy posts that do little to convince anyone, but undoubtedly make the person writing them feel better about their position.
The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day has sparked a conversation on gun control like never before. Rather than accepting mass shootings as a part of everyday life in the United States, the survivors have started the Never Again movement, which seeks to impose stricter gun laws to minimize the ability of people to commit mass shootings.
Because of the students’ activism, all eyes have been on the NRA and their tone-deaf response. Companies like Delta Airlines, Hertz, and MetLife ended their partnerships with the NRA. While some saw this as a victory, others were livid.
Although Delta never actually posted an announcement about it on Facebook, the debate got heated quickly. Their targeted ads took most of the brunt.
“I’ll never fly Delta again! Airlines shouldn’t be liberal!” Eric Bryce said in a comment on the ad. It should be noted that Eric Bryce has never been in an airplane, nor does he belong to the NRA.
People both argued with and defended Bryce for his comments.
“I’d be worried an NRA member would try and open carry on my plane or something. Is that what you want, Eric Bryce?” asked Wilma Smith of Philadelphia.
It should also be noted that a whopping thirteen people took advantage of Delta’s NRA discount last year. Yes, really.
Martin Hallman, a Facebook analyst, said that this type of debate is normal, especially after a mass shooting. “Unfortunately, they have become a part of everyday life. Of course debates about shootings are going to be, too.” When asked about what people can do to keep away from gun control-related anxiety on Facebook, he said, “I don’t know. Personally, I’m more worried about the guns themselves.” He doesn’t see this debate going anywhere until “common sense gun laws are passed.”
“It’s a cycle at this point, isn’t it?” he said, pouring himself his third scotch on the rocks. “A shooting happens. Some people say we need to act. Some people say it’s not the time to act. We all freak out about it on the internet. And the cycle continues, ad infinitum.”
Hallman suggests dealing with the onslaught of pro and anti-gun posts by participating in the discussion in a more constructive way. “Call your representatives. Vote for people who will represent you. It’s the only way anything is ever going to change. If a bunch of teenagers are strong enough to stand up and do something about it, the rest of us should be, too.”
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This post was created with the help of Grammarly.
Photo Credit: David Yamane