As they try to dodge your bullets /
Are immune to your Fox Not-News punditry /
They're quite aware you're on the NRA payroll...
- Updated version of David Bowie's "Ch-Ch-Changes"
In the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (via The Atlantic):
What made Parkland different were the people who stepped forward to describe it. High-school students—the survivors of the calamity themselves—became the voice of the tragedy. Tweets that were widely reported as coming from the students expressed grief for the victims, pushed against false reports, and demanded accountability...
...On television, on social media, they were unignorable. Many of them called for legislation to address the violence.
“We are children. You guys are the adults. Work together, come over your politics, and get something done,” David Hogg, a student who survived the killing, told CNN...
When the conservative pundit Tomi Lahren demanded that “the left ... let the families grieve for even 24 hours before they push their anti-gun and anti-gun-owner agenda,” the same survivors, who knew the victims, responded in kind:
I think the gun nuts just fucked with the wrong high school.
...Those students understand that they live in a country that they have very little power to change—a country where, several times a year, a school for children becomes a charnel house. So when that hideous transformation struck their school, they already knew what they wanted to do. That girl in the closet, talking to her classmate, anticipated the next several days of talking points without knowing whether she would get to see those days at all. These assorted Florida teenagers knew the contours of the gun debate so well that they were rebutting NRA talking points just after emerging from their safe zones. Now, a few days later, their insistence on their own authority has gummed up the works of the otherwise cliched national debate. Their calls for action may not lead to any imminent change in policy. But they have given the country a striking symbol of what—and who—we’re really talking about when we have these debates. And they will not be the last victims to face a loaded assault rifle and think: This IS preventable. I MUST politicize this.
Then there's student Emma Gonzalez, using the aftermath to rail against the people in power (hint: Republicans) who haven't done shit to address the rise of gun violence in our schools, our public places, and our lives:
There's talk of making a nationwide boycott, of students walking out of their school on April 20 (anniversary of Columbine, what had been the deadliest school massacre until Parkland) and refusing to go back until Congress passes gun safety laws such as banning assault weapons used in most of our mass shootings and implementing Universal Background Checks.
This is the generation following us. This is the generation that grew up in the shadow of Columbine, and who were in middle school when the Sandy Hook massacre took place, and who have been living through monthly school lockdown drills their entire lives.
They are sick of it. They are sick of the NRA buying enough politicians to stop common sense safety laws passing, they are sick of angry guys with guns using them for target practice, they are sick of a status quo that has been enforced on our nation based on fear, lies, and ignorance.
And the kids are not rolling over.
And the kids are standing up.
The kids are alright.
Update: I am not the only one noting these kids are alright.
New Yorker article.
NY Daily News article.
P.S. some of these kids are gonna be old enough to vote this 2018 midterms.
P.S.S. ALL of these kids are gonna be old enough to vote in 2020.
You Republicans can throw all the issues at the glass - abortion, tax cuts, immigration, racial fears, what have you - in order to distract people but I guarantee you these kids are gonna be single-issue voters. They got something to rally around. They are gonna be voting against guns, and you lot sold yourselves to the NRA for far too long.
I hope to God it's an electoral bloodbath this November to match the literal bloodbaths filling up our schools.