Podcasts: A Turning Point in US for Gun Control?

Survivors of a February 14 mass killing at Douglas High School at a town hall broadcast, Sunrise, Florida (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

UPDATE, 1500 GMT: Following Donald Trump’s appearance with students and parents in the White House on Wednesday and — more importantly — the Florida town hall meeting in which students, teachers, and parents challenged politicians and the National Rifle Association’s spokesperson, I spoke with BBC Radio Wales on Thursday morning about the significance.

Listen to Discussion

The campaign for steps towards gun control, led by survivors of the February 14 mass killing at a Florida high school, brought a small concession from Donald Trump on Tuesday — he called for a ban on bump stocks, converting semi-automatic into automatic weapons, and for background checks.

But were Trump’s steps significant? And is this really a turning point in America’s long turmoil over gun ownership and killings, or just a blip with no action to be taken?

I spoke with Austria’s Radio FM4 on Wednesday about the situation and what lies ahead.

Listen to Discussion from 12:17

I would have said, immediately after the killings in Florida last week, “It’s Groundhog’s Day again.” But with this conjunction of high school students and the use of social media to make their case, this time may be different — they may have galvanized public opinion and shifted the argument.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


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