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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

And The Children Shall Lead

Category: Guns
Posted: 02/19/18 23:36

by Roxanne Mindeman

Lefties like me who've been in the gun safety battle for ...forever... have spent more than our share of time feeling defeated and exhausted. But the kids at Parkland are giving me hope. They're taking on a monumental battle that has confounded many of us for decades. Their voice, empowered by unspeakable loss, is uniquely poised to challenge hearts and opinions across the political spectrum. I say, "Let them lead!"

As they do, the rest of us need to attend every demonstration, join every march, sign every petition, go to every school safety meeting, support every anti-bullying program, fight for mental health parity in all health insurance, and confront every spineless, rudderless politician who trades our children's safety for NRA campaign contributions. And when we're exhausted, and in fear that the NRA will just win again - and they might - we need to remind ourselves that every kid at Parkland and Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech and a dozen other schools, was somebody's baby. It's only by happenstance of geography and the Grace of God that it's never been your child's school or mine. So far.

The kids at Parkland, and all of the rest of us in this battle, face a long hard road. But a critical mass is building. The long time unreachable are stopping to think. The exhausted are getting a second wind. The tone-deaf are getting nervous. There's hope in the air. We all need to do our part to keep it alive.
comments (2) permalink
02/20/18 18:32
Mike Rowe, the dirty jobs guy, took to facebook to explain what happened--again.

"Like most of you, I'm overwhelmed with pity for the victims and their families, but consumed with anger for the coward who chose to murder. Rage and sorrow are hard things to reconcile, and the more such things occur, the more apparent it becomes that there is nothing new to say. So forgive me Susan, if I repeat what I said after Vegas and San Bernardino.

Evil is real. As long as humans have walked the earth, people have chosen to do evil things. This is what happened in Florida. A nineteen-year old man chose to do an evil thing. He planned it. He executed it. He succeeded.

Should we endeavor to know why? Absolutely.

Should we discuss the impact of video games, accessible firearms, single-parents, no parents, powerful medications, social media, mental illness, bullying, or anything else we think might have encouraged him to choose evil over good? Without question.

But we should also stop confusing the influence of such things, with the root cause. Because nothing in this man's past can possibly explain his decision to kill seventeen people. If you believe otherwise, ask yourself why millions of other people with a similar past, don't make similar choices.

The past does not equal the future.

This is the most comforting thing I can tell you, Susan. It's also the most disconcerting. Because the facts are undeniable. People from horrible backgrounds often become the epitome of kindness. And people with every imaginable advantage, often go on to squander everything.

The past does not equal the future.

To the families of the victims I can only offer my sincerest condolences, along with my heartfelt wish that the man who killed their loved ones is removed from the planet with all due speed.

As for words, I can only repeat what others have said, and ask you to remember those who confronted evil with courage. People like Aaron Feis, the football coach who threw himself in front of the kids the killer was trying to murder.

Beyond that, I'm afraid I can offer nothing but my weekly attempt to prove that goodness also walks among us, just as surely as evil. In numbers far greater than our newsfeeds would lead us to believe.

Mike Rowe"

Until Hollywood ends its portrayal of irresponsible gun ownership and use, until mental illness ends, until single-parenting stops, until orphans no longer exist, until journalism ends its preoccupation with body counts and stops the portrayal of valor and respect for these agents from hell, they will continue to dwell in our communities.

When do we get to discuss the impact movies and games have on the minds of our children? The CDC needs to look at this in terms of health and welfare of our nation.
02/20/18 15:23
Children are not in charge. Adults lead. Informed, mature adults. I applaud your pluck. I weep with you. But parading weeping, angry, uneducated, misinformed children in front of the cameras has the opposite effect that you seek--we all seek. Solutions!

I encourage them to make their march on Washington, and get the 8th grade civics lesson they slept through. The NRA is not the enemy in this. The American people are your enemy. The NRA is powerless--those that lock arms and march on voting booths are not powerless. Voters are your enemy, not the NRA.

Keep putting together your favorite set of useless words, and craft them into laws. Roll out another set of unfunded mandates to control behavior and waste your remaining days on this earth waiting for the media to train yet another copy-cat-killer, and weep again. Rinse, spin, dry, and redo.

We don't need laws we need solutions. Carefully crafted solutions that actually work to curtail the violence.

Foisting this responsibility on government does nothing more than teach these young and inexperienced youth--many of which have heard of but never read our constitution--to hate their government, the mentally ill, the poor, the forgotten. Parading them in front of cameras to milk their tears for leaves emotional scars. Shame on those who exploit these children. They need to be educated, learn why we are the way we are, and then use their creative energy to actually make a difference.

This is not a law enforcement problem. This is not a school administration problem. This is not a mental illness problem. This is a problem with the very fabric of 21st century America.

In the last 36 hours I've heard poorly informed journalists advocate to abolish the AR-15. It is estimated that about 10 million of the 350 million firearms in America are an AR-15, which is patterned to look like the M-16 but is no more powerful than the skunk shooter I used to rid my farm of skunks.

Outlawing a gun because of the way it looks? Really? This is useful how exactly?

I am hopeful that a new category of restraining order is appropriate. I'm hopeful that one or more states will start to experiment with this tool. I am hopeful that states will be able to craft a process to curtail the shootings. Until then, I intend to shame the media at every opportunity. Shame them for creating an atmosphere of glory and attention on these events. We don't need to have these horrific events played and replayed in our living rooms. We most certainly don't need to have thousands of mal-adjusted, socially awkward, violent youth studying and creating zombie apocalypse recreations in their heads. Stop with the body count fascinations as well. Each one wants 'top dog' status on the body counts.



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