They don’t want “thoughts and prayers,” they want leaders who take gun control seriously. And remember: the midterms are fast-approachingby Diane Roberts / February 21, 2018 / Leave a comment
Something feels different. It’s not the hashtag “Never Again:” there’s a hash tag for every American mass shooting. It’s not the sickening statistics: we’ve all seen the graphs and charts demonstrating that of all developed nations, the United States is the only one, the only one, where people regularly go on shooting rampages, killing dozens at primary schools, concerts, cinemas, nightclubs, college campuses, post offices, churches, restaurants, community centers, you name it. It’s not the arguments for and against gun control—we’ve heard them before.
Maybe it’s the kids. Specifically, the kids of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida, 100 of whom have arrived in the state capital to demand that their government do something about guns. They’ve been joined by a couple of thousand kids from the local high schools—the county Superintendent of Education’s giving any student attending the anti-gun rally an “excused absence,” much to the displeasure of some gun-loving parents—and a lot of adult activists hoping these young people can succeed where they have failed.
The kids are in the corridors of the Florida Senate, in the gallery of the House of Representatives, outside the governor’s office. They’re polite, but they’re not fooling around. The kids have let it be known—via national and international media—that they will work against any candidate, Democrat or Republican, who takes campaign money from the National Rifle Association.
Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Douglas, gave a speech calling bullshit (she used the more polite term “BS”) on “politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this” and barrel-polishers who say “a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun.”
So far, BS is all these kids have received from their government. As some of the Parkland students watched, weeping in frustration and horror, the Trumpist-controlled Florida House refused to even discuss banning assault weapons like the AR-15 Nikolas Cruz used to murder 17 at their school.
The representatives voted down the motion to debate on a strict party-line vote: all Republicans against, all Democrats for. The members did, however, find time to officially declare pornography “a health risk.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott, who boasts an…