I have started about two dozen posts about this latest shooting, but have published none, because the story keeps morphing. It started as the horrible tragedy that is yet another school shooting. And as the story started to emerge, it became clear that there was something different.
The idea that people had contacted the police, and the FBI on this shooter long before he acted, showed just how broken the system is. Add to that the fact that the shooter himself flat out told people that he actually aspired to be a school shooter… well, that simply shows the desensitization that we’ve all gone through.
Of course, somewhere in the middle of the whole thing, the President of the United States actually tried to make the story about him. That’s a first. But, then he made what is probably the most toothless political gesture, banning bump stocks. I mean, aside from the fact that this shooting didn’t even involve the use of bump stocks, but bump stocks aren’t even a weapon. Of course the NRA is staying quiet, so far the plan is working!
And then there are the students…
They are the reason that this story hasn’t ended, and won’t end, any time soon. They are the something different that has been needed in these stories for a long time. There have always been survivors and families who have made gun control their life’s work after events like this. So why is this different? Just ask any marketing person how difficult it is to predict when teenagers will suddenly connect with something; a fashion, some slang, a technology, or even a cause. Because once that barrier has been crossed, whatever it is will catch on in ways no one can control, or predict.
Now that the protest are beginning, we need to keep watch as the threats to young people grow. The NRA and its lackeys will not play fair (“they’re all actors!”) in their pursuit of war machines. And they will not care if their targets are minors. Some school districts are threatening suspension, while others are giving out civics credits for it.
Despite everything that the NRA and many of its financial recipients will tell you is that isn’t about “coming to get your guns”. It’s about the difference between rational (“I have a couple couple rifles and a shotgun for hunting.”), and obsessive (“Obama is a black gay Muslim socialist! I need a couple extra AR-15’s to store in my shelter with my canned goods, and my tinfoil hat!”)
And it’s about the end of all of the ridiculous excuses. There are people with mental illnesses in every country in the world, so why don’t they have mass shootings all the time. No one tells you it’s not a good time to talk about hand washing because it’s “not the time” to talk about it, because it’s insensitive for all the people who have recently died of the flu. Every one of those excuses is designed to play upon our morality. Think about that… Every tactic is made to play upon your humanity!
That’s what we are dealing with. People who will not give an inch, don’t care about bloodshed, and will use morality in the name of the immoral. Let’s see what happens when they go up against youth, optimism and the sheer force of adolescent willpower.