Commentary : This text is an extract from a study entitled : Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture in 2000.
The author raises a burning and topical (d’actualité)issue: the problem of gun control and gun culture in the USA. He tries to account for (expliquer) a widespread phenomenon, a scourge (un fléau) that plagues ( tourmenter, harceler) America. We can dividethis text into 2 parts:
From line 1 to line 25: A typical example of tragedies
From line 6 to the end: Reasons for such a phenomenon
I. A typical example of tragedies.
The text starts with aprecise example, the author refers to a tragedy that involved young people. Andrew Golden at 11 and Mitchell Johnson aged 13 with 3 rifles and seven pistols killed four children and one teacher and woundedten other people at their school in Jonesboro in Arkansas in March 1998.The covers of Time magazine and Newsweek published in April 1998, showing one of the two boys first as a toddler ( enfant quicommence à marcher) , second older dressed in camouflage and holding a weapon received as a Christmas present, clearly demonstrate that the two teenagers had been brainwashed ( conditionner, tobrainwash so into V + ing) since they were born. They had been brainwashed into thinking that arms were part of their daily lives.
Unfortunately such shootings are used to being mentioned in the news. Whenthe author says: line 18: “ The questions asked repeatedly after the Jonesboro tragedy- as after the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, on April 20 1999 and after every similarmass shooting- seem depressingly familiar.”
His use of the words “repeatedly” “similar mass shooting” and “familiar” shows that this sort of tragedy has already happened quite a few times in theUSA. It means it is a widespread phenomenon.
The adverb “depressingly” indicates that some people find these events intolerable but that nothing has been done to prevent them from (to prevent sthg...