Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

I Hope the Kids Will Be Alright

The March For Our Lives march/movement has gotten a very special response from pro-gun RW voices--personal attacks against the leaders of the movement, who also happen to be kids who have endured a traumatic event in the form of the school shooting, and are not just working through the grieving process of having lost people, but doing so with courage, thoughtfulness and purpose in a very public way.

Some of these wretched excuses for public comment, such as these comments put out by an NRA spokesperson:

"To all the kids from Parkland getting ready to use your First Amendment to attack everyone else's Second Amendment at your march on Saturday, I wish a hero like Blaine Gaskill had been at Marjory Douglas High School last month, because your classmates would still be alive and no one would know your names, because the media would have completely and utterly ignored your story, the way they ignored his," Noir said.

treat these young people as if they are opportunists who were just looking for the right occasion--like the murder of their friends--to become "famous". (The individual, Blaine Gaskill, did not actually stop the shooter at Great Mills High School, it turns out--and the presence of resource officers don't always act as a deterrent to the murder-minded, because individuals who intend to kill people don't necessarily seek out "gun-free zones"--they seek out the people they mean to kill, and often have no expectation of their own survival.) It's fine to wish someone had stopped Nikolas Cruz before he murdered 17 people, but it's something else to suggest this tragic event simply gave these young activists a "story" or that the media gave them a platform that they have no right to. What happened was tragic, it was their experience, and it is their right to tell their own story, and not have it taken away from them because it doesn't agree with someone else's political views.

Others, like my former Senator, Rick Santorum, want to suggest that their time could be better spent doing something (or rather, doing something else, because they certainly are doing something, or you wouldn't hear such raging and gnashing of teeth). He suggested "taking CPR classes" because he is a fuckwit:

“How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that?” the former Republican senator suggested on State of the Union.

Notwithstanding that Santorum seems to have being a qualified pool lifeguard confused with anything like the life-saving interventions that might be required to save someone whose flesh, bones and organs might be pulverized by bullets, consider the stupidity of saying the high school kids are "looking to someone else to solve their problem". Well, yeah. They are high school kids. But how is school shootings just "their problem"? But also, appealing to elected officials to pass laws to remedy problems is something a former legislator should comprehend as being a part of democracy. He doesn't seem to get it, which really explains why he no longer holds an office.

But then, there are the just plain sick attacks, the smears and lies. There is really very little we can expect from Infowars, home of the Sandy Hook Truthers, and Brietbart is not much better. Likening activists who are just interested in promoting a debate about stopping school shootings to neo-Nazis (when actual neo-Nazi sympathizers like Anders Brievik and Dylann Roof have actually been mass shooters) is hyperbolic, confusing a raised fist for a Nazi salute is just plain moronic. And running a smear that pretended that David Hogg was not present at the school during the attack and then claiming that one was "confused" is kind of pathetic. The Photoshop of Emma Gonzalez that is making the rounds should make people feel ashamed, but the sort of people who would share that are not the sort of people who feel ashamed about such things.

And yet, for sheer inappropriate, personal, bigoted, and wrong, I present Rep. Steve King of Iowa (for now), who went after Gonzalez for wearing a patch that honors her Cuban heritage. I thought so much (or little) or his meme that I made one of my own (above).

These young people have shown they have real wit and humor, but this kind of attention, and these kinds of attacks, are intended to wear them down. Finding purpose in loss and tragedy is healthy, but I hope they give themselves the self-care of shutting out these negative voices, and I also hope people don't treat them like mascots or pour more on their shoulders than they've already got. They are human, and human beings are never perfect, and life is fragile. I wish them the best.


Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, I also have some sympathy for these kids who have undergone tragedy.

The problem is that very quickly these kids generate so much passion that they are useful to people with political agendas. They are co-opted by the agenda driven group which causes a lot of noise and a lot of psychic inflation, but can come to no result.

Here's what they political-agenda people realize or understand. The Bill of Rights is indelible and cannot be changed. No matter how many people march on Washington, it will have no effect in terms of affecting the Bill of Rights. Legislators cannot change the Bill of Rights by voting for stuff. The agenda-driven people know this.

The other thing that they know is that each state is responsible for setting its own gun policy. The political-agenda people know that were they to drive the kids to the governor's mansion to interact with state representatives and senators, a conversation might be possible. The kids would become more educated, because a discussion would have to include the realities of self-defense, hunting, and other factors connected with gun rights. Were the kids to be driven to interact with the state it might actually be possible in some way to change the gun laws in that state.

The agenda-driven people prefer to drive the kids to Washington because they can make a lot of noise. Inflammatory speeches, bellicose denouncements, self-righteous justification, along with an enemies list. They are yelling in the wrong place. Nothing is going to affect the Bill of Rights. They need to be taking their motivations to discussions at the state level where some change might be possible.

The agenda-driven people understand all this full well. But they opt for making a lot of temporary noise over actually trying direct the passion to the state level where something could conceivably be accomplished.

We have talked about this subject in the past, and where I live guns are about as numerous as indoor plumbing. It's been this way since recorded memory. Nobody ever shoots anybody unless it's a burglar or a drug dealer.

So there are two directions. One makes a lot of noise and blows over, and the other might be responsible for instituting some kind of change. Politicians always choose the noise.

Emma said...

I'd like to disagree with Formerly Amherst here, in that:

1. Why are liberal activists "agenda-driven" any more than any other group of activists, including irrational fear-driven guns-forever advocates?
2. When did the Bill of Rights become indelible? I don't think anybody will manage to successfully erase any of its provisions any time soon — but they are amendments, after all. The very fact of their existence suggests the act of legislative editing.
3. Most liberals/leftists don't want to see the 2nd Amendment eradicated; we'd like to see it constrained by reasonable limitations. Like, no assault weapons. No semi-automatic weapons. No bump stocks. No extended magazines. No guns for domestic abusers. No guns for people who have committed violent crimes. Single-action handguns and hunting rifles only, available under strict licensing and background-check regimes, etc. (I'd like to see the 2nd Amendment only extended to people participating in a well-organized official state militia, personally, but I'll take what I can get.)
4. I grew up on a farm, where guns were used as actual tools. Nobody shot anybody. The conditions of my own upbringing are obviously not capable of being extrapolated to circumstances like those found at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, though, so I don't try. I wish this "well, we had guns & didn't kill each other, so therefore guns aren't dangerous" argument could die a peaceful death at home in bed. It won't be missed.
5. You can't just shoot drug dealers. It's illegal. & between drug dealers and heavily-armed, violently insane people who see their own government and most of their fellow citizens as unscrupulous enemy combatants, I'll take the drug dealers.
6. It's not over yet. You can hear a storm before you see it. I believe in these kids, and I believe in change. It won't be easy, and it won't happen overnight, but it'll happen.