Relevant fun factoid for the day! The word “politics” actually derives from two ancient Greek words, “poly” meaning many, and “tics” meaning tiny bloodsucking parasites. Now you know why there are so many of them, and why we hate them so much.
If you were able to watch those young people speak from the podium in Tallahassee, Florida today without getting a tear in your eye, book a hearse to Forest Lawn, you’re already dead. Those sons and daughters of ours were noble, heartbroken, traumatized, and grief stricken. You know what else they were? They were supremely pissed off, and mightily motivated. Their message is simple, “Fuck with us at your own peril. If you won’t listen to us, we’ll get somebody in there that will.” More students than I can count over the last couple of days have reminded anyone with a live microphone that politicians work for us, and not the other way around.
Most politicians are full of self satisfied entitlement and over bloated importance. They are also as arrogant as hell. The initial legislative response, at least in Tallahassee, to those kids coming up to plead their case was “OoooOOOoohhhh, whining kids! I’m soooo scared!” They scuttled a pending bill that would have banned assault style weapons while the kids were on the buses coming to see them yesterday, and many mostly GOP legislators wouldn’t even let them into their offices today to talk. You know what those kids did? They wrote down those names for future reference.
You know what else most politicians are? They’re “out of touch.” You average politician is most likely somewhere in their forties, and they have to have their password on a piece of paper in their wallet to be able to log into their e-mail. These same politicians hire people 5-10 years older than these kids to run their digital and social media campaigns. They don’t know a blog from a blunderbuss. These kids grew up on social media the way those politicians grew up on magazines and naked party phone chat lines. And they’re everywhere.
Feel safe because you’re not a Florida politician? Well, Sandy Hook was in Connecticut,
Columbine was in Colorado, Virginia Tech is in Virginia, and don’t forget the community college in Oregon, and in southern California. And who knows where the next one will be? Do they really think that parents, students and teachers in every school in America don’t feel a target on their back?
When I was their age, if I wanted to organize something like this, most of us had a core support group of about 8-15 friends we could call on. These kids have an entire country full of peers, supporters, and activists a simple chat handle away. If I wanted to know how much money a local politician got from the NRA in contributions, I had to write to the state
Elections board and wait weeks for a response. Today, it takes about 5 minutes and a couple of dozen key strokes, and I’ve heard several students who were already planning on obtaining this information and disseminating it within the district or state. As the old saying goes, “Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.” A good measuring stick of how worried politicians have to be about this movement will be the national day of action in late March. But it is worth noting that there was a large gathering in front of the state house in Tallahassee today, and most of them were students who left class to attend.
The NRA has been the dictatorial ruling political force for decades on gun policy for two reasons. Millions of dollars in blood money, and their army of “single issue voters.” First, let’s look at the money. Gun owners are a minority in this country, and semi automatic weapon hoarding pendejos are a tiny portion of that number. The nation wants sane gun laws. What good is a large pile of plasma soaked cash if some nosy brat is going to paint you as a sniveling lackey of the merchants of death for taking it? This is a technique that has been begging to be used for a long time, publicly shaming politicians for the source of their donations, especially in an environment that is opposed whatever group or cause they took the money from. And the social media that these kids are so proficient at makes it easier than ever before for that information to spread far and wide.
Now, for this legion of “single issue voters.” That “Angel of Death” douche bag Wayne LaPierre loves to boast that the NRA is 5 million members strong. Big, hairy, fucking deal. New York City alone is 8 million strong, and Chicago and LA clock in at a combined 6 million plus. But let’s personalize this, shall we? Montel Williams put it perfectly two days ago, on election day 2020, 4 million American teens will have reached the legal voting age of 18. Yeah, 4 million motivated, potentially “single issue” voters. Now, let’s just say that every teen has 1.5 parents. That’s another 6 million voters, the NRA just got doubled up on. Now, you wanna toss in aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, and voting age siblings? And while parents may not listen to a bunch of kids from Florida, they’ll goddamn well listen to their own kids, due to proximity if nothing else, and those kids are going to be in their ears every, single day. And much to the chagrin of Pee-Pee LePew and the NRA backed politicians, this issue isn’t going away anytime soon. Tragically, there will be another school mass shooting. And another one after that, and another after that. And the organization and outrage of our youth will only grow, and now that they have finally found their voice, nobody is going to be able to silence it.
The problem of mass violence in schools has been crying out to be addressed for 20 years now, and the problem is only getting worse, not better. But as the number of households with gun ownership drops, the power of the NRA diminishes. And with each new school atrocity, resistance to easy availability of handheld weapons of mass destruction increases. It won’t be today, and it won’t be tomorrow, but change is coming. And all because of the old adage, “And a child shall lead them.”