In an op-ed for The Charlotte Observer, the coach for the Charlotte Junior Rifle Team, Evan Bille, said that he worries every day that the shooting skills he teaches young people could be used to carry out a school shooting.
According to Billie, one way to prevent mass shootings would be to raise the legal age to purchase a rifle to 21 (by federal law, you must be 21 to purchase a handgun, but only 18 to buy a rifle).
"There is a reason every terrorist group across the world, from the Taliban to the Klan, recruits isolated young men. Extremism and violence, especially now in decentralized online spaces, can provide a cheap sense of identity, community, and purpose," Billie writes, adding that by offering access to rifles at an early age, "our gun policy is aiding and abetting domestic terrorism."
"I tell my students that the greatest life lesson of competitive shooting is consistency. When you identify patterns and understand misses on a target, you adjust until you are consistently hitting bullseyes," Billie writes. "Today, children see the same pattern by politicians, shooting after shooting, and it always misses the mark. They see a consistent lack of political courage. Will we adjust?"
Days after 19 children and two teachers were slaughtered in a Texas town, the debate over gun control rages on as outsiders wonder why Americans are so wedded to the firearms that stoke such massacres with appalling frequency.
The answer, experts say, lies both in the traditions underpinning the country's winning its freedom from Britain, and most recently, a growing belief among consumers that they need guns for their personal safety.
Over the past two decades -- a period in which more than 200 million guns hit the US market -- the country has shifted from "Gun Culture 1.0," where guns were for sport and hunting, to "Gun Culture 2.0" where many Americans see them as essential to protect their homes and families.
That shift has been driven heavily by advertising by the nearly $20 billion gun industry that has tapped fears of crime and racial upheaval, according to Ryan Busse, a former industry executive.
Recent mass murders "are the byproduct of a gun industry business model designed to profit from increasing hatred, fear, and conspiracy," Busse wrote this week in the online magazine The Bulwark.
With additional reporting by AFP