The number of mass shootings continues to soar in the US — not just costing lives, but traumatizing our youth and undermining the basis for a free society. To stop the epidemic, we need a truly democratic transformation of our country’s political institutions.
Firmin DeBrabander is professor of philosophy at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. He is the author of Do Guns Make Us Free? Democracy and the Armed Society (Yale University Press, 2015) and Life after Privacy: Reclaiming Democracy in a Surveillance Society (Cambridge University Press, 2020).
The push to rebuild the nation’s decrepit infrastructure is long overdue. But it isn’t enough to make our parks and public transit more functional — they must be beautiful spaces that affirm the public sphere is worthy of exaltation.
The governments and corporations that spy on us would like nothing better than for us to remain lone individuals, tasked with protecting our own data and privacy. Only collective action can secure civil liberties.