Oh, how sad I’ve seen people this week! They will take a long time to recover in the small town of Uvalde, Texas. And again, they will forever be reminded that this is where a murderer chose to go after students in a 4th grade class. From 4th year.

Sad people, as I had met fifteen years ago, after a young student had killed thirty-two people on the campus of Virginia Tech University. And also nearly ten years ago now, when twenty six- and seven-year-olds were massacred at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut. It will always tear your heart out.

After these butcheries and so many others, in addition to trying to understand the pain of living, the madness that leads to committing such acts, I inevitably hear new calls – several charged with emotions, others logical and well-argued – to control access to firearms in the United States.

It won’t happen. First, because American society is so deeply divided, polarized these days that we can no longer manage to agree, to compromise without having the feeling of having been taken in by the other camp. Then, I learned one thing over time and saw another, I’ll explain.


It may seem crazy, but living with Americans for almost sixteen years, it has become – and I say this honestly – commonplace to be served, at one time or another, with a reference to the Constitution of the country. Often, it is approximate; sometimes downright incorrect; but the Americans nurture a mythical attachment to the texts concocted by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and other Thomas Jefferson.

At home, except in the political science departments of our universities and among the select group of constitutional scholars in the country, I have never come across – in my life! – anyone who has described to me the importance of the British North America Act, the Constitution Act, 1982 or even the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in their daily lives.

Surely we should be better informed and more cherish the political stability and the rights guaranteed to us by these historical documents. For or against federation or sovereignty, it probably wouldn’t hurt to get a better idea of ​​what they’re saying.

Depending on the issue of the moment, Americans constantly come back to their Constitution: abortion, the right to vote, environmental protection, you name them, if the question divides them, they will appeal to the Constitution (and to the Supreme Court) to decide. And the right to bear arms – no matter how you interpret the Second Amendment – ​​is clearly written there.


That’s what I learned. What I have found is that compared to guns, horror and outrage will never hold sway. Earlier I mentioned the twenty little boys and girls of Newtown; those of Uvalde were hardly older.

They were mowed down by assault rifles, the craziest weapons one could find legitimate to carry in a peaceful society. If even after the massacre of children, we do not manage to agree that these weapons should be banned, at least those ones, nothing will be done. Nothing !

Percentage agreeing with these statements

Prevent people with mental illness from buying guns

Ban assault rifles, AR-15 type

Allow teachers to be armed in the classroom

Create a federal agency overseeing arms sales

Source : Pew Research Center, Avril 2021