The survivors of the butchery at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida,, are speaking truth to power – loudly, clearly.
These young people are so intelligent, articulate, passionate and determined. Don’t you wish more legislators were? Thanks to these students’ energetic, keen-eyed truths, there just might someday be effective gun laws enacted.
Let us praise and value these students’ idealism. That is exactly what is lacking in many jaded adults who’ve been cowed so long by the gun lobby and its legislative minions.
Here is how a typical jaded adult thinks these days, at least those who succumb to gun-lobby propaganda: Yes, the shootings are horrible, but there’s always been mass killings. Banning any kind of gun won’t stop them. Killers will steal them if they can’t buy them. They’ll use knives or bombs. Besides, guns don’t kill people.
Now, listen to these young people who saw or heard the murders:
David Hogg, 17: “This is something we can’t let keep happening. Because if we do and we get used to it, it’s going to happen again. This is a time for our country to take a look in the mirror and realize there is a serious issue here.”
Emma Gonzalez, 17: “We are up here standing together because if all our government and president can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change we need to see.”
After Parkland, so many legislators, as they always do like lemmings, reacted this way: “Let’s not jump to conclusions,” parroted Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
These always distract by saying, “Let’s find the facts first, then let’s have a conversation.”
Well, folks, the facts are these: A teenager legally purchased an AR-15 assault rifle. He used it to slaughter 17 people. Slugs smashed and shredded the flesh and organs of the victims, in one case severing the spine of a 14-year-old girl running down a hallway for her life.
Lockstep opponents of any sort of gun restrictions are making a lot of noise the FBI dropped the ball after it was notified of this deranged teenager being an imminent threat. They note at least one deputy did not enter the school to confront the shooter. Such lamentable facts do not obscure the underlying central fact: a teenager armed with an AR-15 mowed down 17 people in a school.
These students – visionary leaders – are pointing out accurately there are many interlocking components to help stop mass killings: stringent background checks, the closing of loopholes in gun purchases online and at gun shows, more attention to mental illness issues, a thorough review of the prescription drugs children are receiving, a strengthened entry security at schools and other public places, the banning of bump-stocks and most importantly, a total ban of military-style assault rifles for civilian use. Lest we forget, the AR-15 has been used by rampaging adults, too.
Such rifles should not be protected by the Second Amendment because they are designed for one thing – killing people rapidly.
A cloud of disgrace hangs over Congress because of its stubborn refusal to do anything about school shootings. It didn’t even have the moral courage to act after 20 sweet, innocent first-graders were blown apart by slugs from an assault rifle five years ago. Legislators keep hoping the latest horror will be forgotten once again in a fog of national amnesia. But, as always, another massacre happens and another. And another.
Lawmakers’ mantra of “Let’s have a conversation” is a code phrase for “Let’s keep doing nothing.” That is what these students mean when they say they are tired of “thoughts and prayers.” They don’t need sentiments; they demand action; they seek meaningful gun-law changes; they want to feel safe in their schools.
These “kids” are inspiring people throughout the nation, changing minds, compelling us to realize the Second Amendment, like the First and the others, is not absolute. The gun lobby and its legislative puppets are under fire, on the defensive, as well they should be. Let’s join the students’ struggle; let’s listen to them; let’s heed their warnings and their truths.