Saturday, March 24, 2018

March for Our Lives

I'm not going to be too hard on them. They're young. Perhaps they haven't had good parenting. No traditional patriotic role models to teach them common sense about what it means to be an American. Gun rights are American. None of the signs I've seen on social media are attacking the "Broward Cowards" of the sheriff's department. Who's got a sign attacking the nameless bureaucrats from the schools and social welfare offices for failing their charges? Deputies visited Nicholas Cruz's house dozens of times. School officials even recommended involuntary psychiatric hospitalization.

None of these things will be fixed with more gun control. It's sad.


At LAT, "Sensing their moment, Florida students balance school and activism planning the March for Our Lives":

A self-confessed "secret huge nerd," Jaclyn Corin admits she is freaking out on the inside as she tries to balance political activism with schoolwork.

The 17-year-old junior class president has six essays to write for her advanced-placement language and composition class. But after a gunman rampaged through her high school, killing 14 students and three staff members, she is mostly focused on Saturday's March for Our Lives.

"It's very hard to juggle," Jaclyn said one evening last week as she slipped into a booth at Panera with fellow activists David Hogg and Sarah Chadwick and sipped a strawberry banana smoothie.

"We're teenagers and we're leading a national movement," said David, also 17, a wiry, intense senior who has put on the back burner memorizing his 50 psychology vocab words and his environmental science project on mammals. "That's a lot of stress."

The goal of the student-led march in Washington is simple: to demand that Congress pass a comprehensive bill to address gun violence.

While the House last week passed the STOP School Violence Act, which authorizes $50 million a year to bolster school security, students say it does nothing to restrict gun access. It does not even mention the word "gun."

"We need a mass mobilization of the American public on a huge scale," said David, a budding filmmaker who became a key voice of the movement after recording video of his classmates huddling in a small dark closet during the Feb. 14 shooting.

About 1,000 students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — and hundreds of thousands of supporters from across the country — plan to march on the nation's Capitol. More than 800 marches are planned worldwide — in Los Angeles and Paris; Buenos Aires and Tokyo; Sydney, Australia, and Mumbai, India.

"In the period of one month, we have shaken up the world," said Jaclyn, a small blonde with a chirpy, singsong voice. "But I feel like the adults keep pressing the snooze button. At some point they're going to have to wake up."

Trying to persuade politicians to enact gun legislation, David said, is about as frustrating as instructing adults how to use smartphones.

"You know, when they're like, 'I can't figure out how to take a selfie…,'" he said dryly. "And then five minutes later, you finally take the phone and you just press the button… You just need to go into the settings!"

"That's perfect," Jaclyn said, giggling.

"That's what we're doing with our government," David continued. "'Goddammit, just give it to me!'"

Already, the students have raised more than $3.3 million via GoFundMe to stage the event, bringing in major donations from celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and George and Amal Clooney. A string of pop stars — Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson and Demi Lovato — agreed to perform at their rally.

For the organizers, the march is a way to channel their grief and anger as well as send a strong message to President Trump and Congress.

"We know this is what's going to help us heal," said Delaney Tarr, a 17-year-old senior. "But it's also bigger than us.… I think everybody, they want to make the world a different place, and that's what we're working on right now — we have an opportunity to do something."

The students feel a sense of urgency in getting their message out, a fear that the public will lose interest...