Thursday, February 22, 2018

Making Their Voices Heard

If there is any good to come out of the tragedy of the mass shooting at the high school in Parkland, FL last week, it’s been the inspiring and heartening actions of the students who have stood up to make their voices heard, that the kinds of gun violence that killed 17 people at their school cannot continue.


Unfortunately, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and in response to “inspiring and heartening:”, we get the despairing and disheartening forces that have arrayed themselves against these students.


Various right wing agitators have called into question the sincerity of these students, accusing them of being coached by liberal activists. Hell, there have been questions at the validity of these students of actually being students. Conspiracy theorists have posited that certain key students like David Hogg and Emma Gonzales are ”crisis actors”, professionals brought in to stir up a liberal agenda.


Apparently “proof” that David Hogg is an actor showed up on You Tube, a video of a news report in California. Oh, he was in California, now he’s a “student” in Florida? That’s gotta mean something, right?


That is David Hogg in the news report, being interviewed last year when his family was visiting California. He didn’t just show up out of nowhere to appear in Parkland, FL last Wednesday. It has been confirmed he was and is a student at that school.


You Tube took down the video when the scam was discovered but the proliferation of attacks on these students for daring to speak up is just completely reprehensible. 


Then get a load of this craptastic sequence of events. Several hundred students from Parkland took a bus to Tallahassee, the state capital, where a vote was to be held on discussing restrictions on automatic firearms. This was not a vote to actually do anything, just discuss the topic. In front of these students, survivors of a gun massacre, the legislature down the act of just discussing gun control. They did, however, vote to approve a measure declaring porn a threat to public health and safety.


This was their priority: porn. Not guns. 


But these kids from Parkland are undaunted. They continue despite the barriers and the false accusations against their character and their very identities to make themselves heard.


And they are not alone. Other schools are seeing momentum growing to stand up to the business as usual that has led to some many needless deaths by gun violence. If something at long last is actually going to change, it will be because these young people will show the way.  

It’s Been Two Years Gone Now.

Today is the 17 th of January. On this date, two years ago, Alene Long, my mother, passed away.   About 4 days before her dea...