Newtown, Orlando, Las Vegas – every one of these place names has become a synonym for a mass shooting in the USA that left at least 28 people dead and was committed in recent years. Using guns that were legally obtained by the perpetrators. The tragedies seem to be occurring at shorter and shorter intervals – while policy-makers just look on. Then, on Valentine’s Day 2018, a man goes on a shooting spree at the MSD High School in Parkland, Florida. After this tragedy, in which 14 students and 3 teachers were shot dead, a handful of teenagers join forces to stand up to policy-makers and the gun industry. Within a matter of weeks, the teenagers organise the largest protest rallies against gun violence since the protests against the Vietnam war. They want a stricter regulation of the often uncontrolled access to guns, and they want AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles to be banned altogether.
ARTE director Sebastian Bellwinkel has followed the protagonists of this youth movement armed with a camera. It becomes clear that gun rampages are just one of the problems. Only about 1 % of the 30,000 gun deaths that occur in the US every year are due to mass shootings. The bulk of them are suicides and everyday homicides, such as murder – most of which take place in impoverished, Afro-American neighbourhoods. Experts believe that some federal states have tightened their gun laws in response to the protests of the youth movement; but how is the conservative Trump administration responding, in order to make access to guns more difficult by law?
Director: Sebastian Bellwinkel
Editorial team: Kathrin Bronnert
Executive producer: Nadja Frenz
Producer: Sandra Maischberger
Production company: VINCENT TV for NDR / ARTE