The Parkland Massacre: The NRA’s Waterloo?

Par Beryl Wajsman le 28 février 2018

"...the wolf will lay down with the lamb and a little child shall lead them..." ~ Isaiah 11:6

The wolves haven't laid down with the lambs, but the children have picked up the standard of their fallen friends. As one American writer put it, "The kids of Douglas High in Parkland may be the NRA's worst nightmare." Unlike the other school shootings, the young survivors are speaking  truth to power. And the world is listening.

Unlike other school shootings, the kids of Parkland are older and bolder. They have used social media virally to call out the cowardice of politicians who are too afraid to act and even challenged their parents who may not know how to act. The survivors of the Parkland slaughter have found their own form of grief counseling. Empowerment. They are speaking to the world. And it matters to so many Canadians who have children in school In the States.

From town halls where they challenged Sen. Marco Rubio to a CNN appearnce with Dan Rather, Parkland students have marshaled the bold resolve to take on the issue of gun control head on. They are fearless and they are eloquent. They know how to organize and they speak with singular authenticity. They are planning a "March for our lives" next month in Washingon, DC. We should all learn from them.

What started with a dozen grew into hundreds and now into thousands. It is an axiom in politics that even if you convince the adults, if the kids are against you they'll lobby their parents to fight you. The NRA has lost the best of the young. And these young people will turn their parents to push the politicians. It is our job in the media to encourage them and provide them the platforms they need. This issue does not have two sides. We must all do what we know is just and right.

"The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call BS. We are going to be the last mass shooting,” vowed Douglas High senior Emma Gonzalez who has in many ways become the face of this "Never Again" movement as it is called. David Hogg, a 17 year old student journalist who was invited to appear with Dan Rather demanded, "You're the adults. You have a promise of protection to keep to us." In response to a Trump tweet blaming Demcrats for lack of gun laws Hogg responded, "You sicken me." The kids of Parkland are considerably wealthier than the survivors of other school shootings. They have turned the oft-criticized self-entitlement of their generation into redemptive rage. They are using their material and moral power against the establishment. And NRA Republicams are taking this childrens crusade very seriously.

The young people of Parkland are fulfill ing the very promise of their education by turning anticipation into action.  They have the skills to turn the sublime, sometimes fanciful, dreams of youth into realities that can shape our communities for the better. And they are not afraid to use them. They are putting aside games for conscience. They have been privileged to see a more perfect world in the quiet air of learning, and they are putting themaelves on the firing line to make it so. They are not asking  “why?” They are demanding “why not?” They dare to care. Let us learn from them.


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Beryl P. Wajsman

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Alan Hustak

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