It was exactly one week ago that gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida. Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you no doubt know that seventeen students and teachers were killed and 14 more were taken to hospitals.
There are thousands of stories on the subject, of course. I don’t really have anything to add. I do, however, want to make an observation or two about some of the political fallout.
Students from M.S.D. High have been on a highly-visible crusade since the shooting stopped to get our elected officials to do something about our non-existent gun laws. And in the last three or four days, students from many other places have begun to join in.
That’s been very inconvenient for our Rethuglican legislators and Governors. And for their NRA masters who fund all those reelection campaigns.
High school students know that politicians literally don’t care whether they live or die. They can see–it’s been crystal-clear for a very long time–that every last GOP elected official, whether in State houses or in Washington, will toe the NRA line to the last detail even if their own kids were cut down in the hallways at Hometown High.
The students see this and they don’t like it.
It should surprise no one that a tipping point has come, and the kids who have dodged bullets and watched friends bleed out are ready to do something about the whole sick situation. Even if the corrupt, uncaring people who are elected to represent them are not.
Poor Rethuglicans. They don’t know what to do.
They’re just trying to mouth the right sentiments, vomit up the talking points handed to them by their PR consultants and hope it’s going to stop.
No, not the shootings. The protests.
They don’t get it. They don’t get it now. They’re not going to see the light after the next massacre, either.
They won’t get after they’re turned out of office by voters of all ages, backgrounds and party affiliations. But that’s how this chapter in the never-ending saga of gun violence in America will end.
This chapter. There will be many others, of course.
Kids know that their lives matter less to our decision makers than NRA dollars. Less than gun industry profits. Less than holding fast to this recent interpretation of the Second Amendment that any citizen can own and parade around with any weapon of their choosing. Even military-grade weapons that are designed for the express purpose of killing a lot of people in a short period of time.
I don’t expect them to do anything about it as a result of students’ protests.
I expect that we’re going to get a lot of new legislators. Soon.
Right after the mid-term elections coming up on the 6th of November.
“Bulldog Ben” Basile
© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile