They are driven by endless grief and sorrows. They will take to the streets, they will have a voice and they are going to make the long overdue difference in the American gun debate.
Students of America are now telling the world that enough is enough. They will rise up and make necessary changes come true.
When Trump rescinded an Obama-era order prohibiting gun sales to mentally ill people he laid the ground work to the recent Florida tragedy. Obviously the Obama order alone did not eliminate the entire mass shooting problems in the U.S. but it was a step into the right direction. True to his mindless supporters and the criminal NRA, Trump thought it a good idea to ease up on restrictive gun laws a year ago. He has provoked the wrath of many people in the United States and especially Florida.
The survivors of the Parkland shooting will raise hell. They are smart and they are very, very angry. Their loud voice will raise hope also with their parents and parents all over America, that maybe one day they can be asured that their kids are safe in school.
After publishing this posting I found an email of the NY-Times which just emphasizes the necessary change:
David LeonhardtOp-Ed Columnist
Vermont has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. After the school shooting in Florida last week, Vermont’s governor — Phil Scott, a Republican — initially vowed that those laws would remain the same.
But then he changed his mind.
He changed it just one day after his initial response. Why? In the meantime, an 18-year-old from Poultney, Vt. — a small town in the southwestern part of the state — was arrested for allegedly planning yet another school shooting.
“If we are at a point when we put our kids on a bus and send them to school without being able to guarantee their safety, who are we?” Scott said, according to Seven Days, a Vermont publication. “I need to be open-minded, objective and at least consider anything that will protect our kids.”
The governor’s about-face may be only words, but it’s still encouraging. And encouragement is important. I fully understand the instinct to despair about guns: Kids keep dying, and things never seem to change. But the only way they will change is if people outraged by gun violence resist despair.
“This world-weary prediction of inaction is pernicious,” ProPublica’s Alec MacGillis wrote this weekend, in a perceptive mini-essay on Twitter. “It demoralizes those who are actually motivated to fight against gun violence. And it lets off the hook those who are opposed to reform.”
MacGillis continued: “The NRA’s influence depends heavily on the PERCEPTION of its power. By building up the gun lobby as an indomitable force, pessimistic liberals are playing directly into its hands.”
Among the reasons for hope:
• The courageous — and deeply political — response of many Florida survivors, which felt different from any previous response. “The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us,” Emma González, a senior at the Parkland, Fla., high school that was attacked, said at a rally this weekend. “And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call B.S.” (Christine Yared, a freshman at the school, has an Op-ed in The Times.)
• Inspired by that response, the movement to reduce gun violence seems to have a new energy, driven by students — who of course have provided much of the energy for previous political movements. Individual schools have already held or planned walkouts. A nationwide protest is scheduled for March 14, with help from organizers of the Women’s March. Teachers are also talking about mass protest, as Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick explains.
• The share of Americans who own guns has fallen to its lowest level in almost 40 years: to 36 percent recently, from 51 percent in 1978. That, as MacGillis notes, “limits the voting power of the gun lobby.”
• State policy is a flawed way to regulate guns, since they can obviously cross state lines. But recent state changes nonetheless make the case for gun-safety laws. In Missouri, which recently repealed background checks for gun purchases, violence is up. In Connecticut, which passed tough laws after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, gun violence is down.
Finally, if you have any doubt about the stakes here, I encourage you to look at the chart that ran with my column this week. It compares the overall child mortality rate across 10 high-income countries. The United States just isn’t trying as hard as every other rich country to keep its children alive.
The value of disagreement. “On the left, there has been some outrage at conservative voices on the Times Op-ed pages,” my colleague Nick Kristof writes. “But as a progressive myself, steeped in the liberal worldview, I must say that I often learn a lot — however painfully — from these conservatives with whom I utterly disagree, partly because they gleefully seize upon inconvenient facts that my side tends to ignore because they don’t fit our narrative.”
Nick concludes his column with this: “It should be possible both to believe deeply in the rightness of one’s own cause and to hear out the other side. Civility is not a sign of weakness, but of civilization.”