Since the adults in the room, in every single room it seems, will do nothing but dawdle, the younger generation will step up and take the lead in the fight for gun control. In the wake of the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida, American youth are shattering the widely held stereotypes of millenials in the political arena.
Yesterday Emma Gonzalez just completely destroyed every tired cliche endlessly regurgitated by Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan and every other politician in the pocket of the Gun lobby.
You know the drill after every mass shooting- “it’s too early to have a gun control discussion.” That’s what we always hear from the NRA bought GOP congressional leadership in the wake of all mass shootings. Guess what guys?
It’s NOT up to you. It’s up to the survivors, and they tell us when it’s time to talk sensible gun legislation. Gonzalez, and the rest of the Parkland survivors say that it's right now.
The high school students appeared on all the Sunday morning sociopolitical talk shows to send their message to President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and the rest of the nation's leadership who only twiddle their thumps while innocent lives continue to be lost due to senseless, easily preventable mass shootings.
"You're the president. You're supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us," said David Hogg, a student at Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"How dare you," he added. #WeCallBS
Gonzalez called out Trump, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Florida Governor Rick Scott by name in a warning to politicians who bought and paid for by the gun lobby, and thus, never take any real action in trying to bring about gun control.
"Now is the time to get on the right side of this, because this is not something that we are going to let sweep under the carpet," she said on the program.
Five students also appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation," video of which is below.
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) February 18, 2018
As we wrote last week after the massacre, this time it feels different; after this mass shooting, it feels like the American people are outraged about the slaughter, and engaged in the gun control fight, like they never have been before. There have been 18 school shootings in America since New Year's Day. There have 18 school shootings in the rest of the world combined over the past two decades. #NeverAgain is the slogan/hash tag of the students, and it's a phrase that perfectly encapsulates how most of us feel right now.
The movement has gone beyond the Sunday talk shows to cable news network appearances to a visit to the state capitol in Tallahassee this week. They are also at three anti-gun violence demonstrations in Washington and other cities planned, with more expected to follow.
The March for Our Lives, #MarchForOurLives set for March 24 in Washington D.C., is the main protest demonstration.
Organizers behind the Women's March are holding a 17-minute nationwide walkout by teachers and students on March 14. The Network for Public Education will hold walkouts, sit-ins and other events #NationalSchoolWalkOuts on school campuses April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School that took 13 lives.
Additionally, right here in Chicago, activists gathered in Federal Plaza yesterday to demand changes to how Americans get access to guns. The rally included speakers from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Illinois Education Association and Indivisible Chicago. It included loud consistent chants of "throw them out," a warning to office-holders in bed with the NRA ahead of the midterm elections in November.
Here's video from the rally:
— Brenna Demands Evidence-Based Action (@BrennaDemands) February 19, 2018
It's clear now that a tipping point on gun control could be in sight. Americans have spoken up and conveyed the message of Howard Beale, the legendary character in the 1976 film "Network:"
"we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore."
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune corporation blogging community Chicago Now.
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