Tomorrow, high-school students will partake in exercising one of the most important of the Bill of Rights, to assemble and petition their government, demanding that Congress pass a host of new gun control legislation in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The fact that they are exercising one constitutional right to seek infringement of another is an irony I am sure is lost on them.
On March 24, 2018 the March for Our Lives movement will pour into Washington D.C. in an effort to ban lawfully-owned firearms, accessories, and to lobby for the implementation of universal background checks for every single gun sale – with no exceptions.
These are the stated positions in the petition on the March for Our Lives website, which is worded with many of the same talking points, misinformation, and outright lies gun-grabbing politicians have used for years. It is quite apparent that what may have started as a grass-roots movement by scared kids with justified fears quickly became gobbled up by self-serving interests – anti-gun activists and politicians.
For example, the CNN Op-Ed piece by march organizer and Parkland student Cameron Kasky is a carefully crafted political hit piece complete with the obligatory finger pointing at Republicans and the NRA while mocking “family values” and “some of these people (who) stockpile guns in advance of a gun ban”.
Do you really believe, even for a minute, that there wasn’t any coaching going on when that opinion piece was written?
The impression, while listening to the majority of major media outlet reports, is that this was a grass-roots movement formed by kids demanding action to keep them safe in school. As it turns out, this is just another case of “fake news”. This is no student groundswell folks, not anymore.
How else do you explain the formation of a 501(c)4 political non-profit, a $3.4 million dollar war chest, and a multi-tiered social media platform complete with a call to action petition? Am I to believe that a bunch of high school students were able to form and organize a political machine such as this in several weeks?
Some issues I’d expect these kids to be adamant about aren’t even touched on. There is not a single mention in the petition about improving school security, mental health issues or the complete lack of accountability by law enforcement at several levels who failed to act, and multiple times at that – actions that may have prevented numerous deaths.
Not a mention about real change, policy points or actionable ideas can be found anywhere in the movements literature. What these kids are marching for is just your garden variety gun ban. And that is a real missed opportunity.
Because these kids have the country’s attention, that’s why. If there was ever a time to force the issue of protecting our schools like we protect sports stadiums, banks and courthouses, now is the time.
They could be making real progress in shaming our elected politicians, instead of law-abiding citizens, into finally hardening our schools to a level of protection they themselves enjoy and forcing critical missteps by law enforcement agencies into the light. But alas, any chance of real reform in school security policy and the safety of our kids went right out the window as soon as the career activists got involved.
As an NRA lifetime member, certified firearms instructor and veteran, you may think I’m angry at these kids; angry at the fact they are championing a long held liberal cause to ban firearms and to recognize the validity of the Bill of Rights selectively, only as it fits their purpose.
But you would be wrong. Mostly, I feel an aching sadness for them – for what has happened to them in the past and what is happening to them right now.
You see, I know who appropriated this movement. I know who snatched the reins from these kids and told them “Great job kids, but we’ll take it from here.” I know who has been whispering in their ear about what a great change they will be responsible for and how history will remember them. I know who is lying to them.
These kids deserve better than to be treated as pawns and have their very real concerns and fears politicized for ideology. Instead of making any real progress on the security of our schools and keeping our kids safe, anti-gun politicians in Congress are treating the March for Our Lives as just another political game.
Here is my prediction for tomorrow’s score: Anti-gun Ideologues and Politicians – 1 School Security and Kids Safety – 0
And that is shameful.