As I watched news clips from today’s nationwide “March for our Lives,” I asked myself a simple question that no one in the overwrought news media was asking:
What do they want?
“We want change” was chanted and a lot of dire warnings to the NRA, to politicians supported by them, and Second Amendment supporters (yeah, that damn Constitution) were issued. But something tangible that the nation could rally around to effect “change”? Not so much.
“Gun control” is a misnomer. Believing that any kind of gun control would have saved a single life at Parkland or any other school shooting is ludicrous. This particular brand of American violence is not manufactured from the barrel of a gun but made in the troubled and diseased minds of individual youths. And to take a tragedy and make political hay out of it — while using traumatized children to sell a political viewpoint? It doesn’t get much lower than that.
With no specific agenda, no message except the pain and anguish of losing friends and loved ones, and no chance that any of the dozen or so legislative proposals currently in the congressional hopper will stop a single school shooting, I ask, again, a logical, reasonable question about why these gatherings are anything more than political sideshows designed to evoke an emotional response in the public in service to a left-wing political agenda:
What do they want?
On a bus with about 250 students bound for Washington from Pittsburgh, chaperone Justin Cooper said he grew up in a region known for hunting but realizes America’s gun culture needs to change.
“Our youth are being confronted with these shootings and all the violence, and I think they’re looking at it and saying most people support some kind of change … but yet our laws don’t quite seems to be working with the people,” Cooper said. “So the youth of this country said, ‘Enough is enough.’ The kids are running all this.”
Carol Speaks sat on the bus next to her grandson, whose brother was gunned down in Pittsburgh in 2013. Three years earlier, she had lost her son to gun violence, she said. Both cases remain unsolved.
“It happens so often in our neighborhoods,” she said of gun violence. “These guns are so easy to get. … A lot of times people don’t act on things until it touches your doorstep and then it’s kind of late.”
In Washington, Leslie Gunn, a teacher who survived the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, said her heart pounded with emotion as she prepared to march. Her mind was on the young students and six adults who died at her school.
“We lost 20 children and 6 adults, 154 bullets in five minutes, and nothing was done,” she said.
“We had voices and we advocated … but if these kids now can make the voice that makes the change, we have to do this. Adults need to get on board with them and follow them because they’re speaking the truth.”
Are issues related to school shootings the same as issues related to drive-by shootings in big cities? No, but when you get a mass of people to sit in front of the TV these days, why not capitalize by inserting “add-on” issues?
I am not blaming the kids. They have been whipped up into a state of hysteria by those who know how to shape and manipulate young minds. That the children lack critical thinking skills and are unable to weigh two sides of an issue to come to a rational decision on what is right is not their fault. And, I suppose I’m one of the few on the right who see value in teaching children about civic responsibility, peaceful protest, and standing up for what you believe.
Perhaps someday they will see how badly they were used. Until then, maybe they could ask the question of themselves:
What do we want?