On February 14, 2018 yet another tragic mass shooting took place in a high school in Parkland, Florida, which eventually provoked massive protests in favour of stricter gun regulations, with the loudest voices coming from fellow students – students just like us. Needless to say we were most interested in the topical lecture about guns as such, gun control and mass shootings in the US given by Dr. Markus Hünemörder, American studies lecturer at Munich University (LMU), on October 17 in Traunreut town hall. The entire 11th grades of both AVG and KuMax had been invited to go on behalf of what is called „Schulcluster Oberbayern-Ost“.
Among many other things Dr. Hünemörder mentioned the use of weapons in America`s past and present, comparing current US gun laws and gun possession to other countries and giving (historical) reasons for America‘s “obsession“ with guns. It was also most interesting to learn that Germany (!) has roughly 6 million registered firearms – more than any other European country.
Truly there was a lot to be understood and to be learnt by the 700-strong audience consting of high school students and their English teachers. But Dr. Hünemörder smoothed things out for us as best he could, providing ample and up-to-date statistic material and underlining his lecture with funny clips from the Simpsons TV series.
It can most certainly be said that the excursion was well worth it and that the lecture – in university style! – was a great experience. Erwin Alles, Q11