For some reason, masses of people across the country are celebrating the current reality that children are protesting for gun control laws. When we’ve gotten to such a point where people need grandiose displays by kids in order to become galvanized to act. Is it a good thing, kids doing this? Overall, sure; it’s a great sign for the future of the country. But grownups need to start doing something *now* and it goes beyond guns in schools. I see that excited people are posting protest pictures and speaking of how inspired they are, and that is all good. It is a lot of the same stuff I saw when they did the Women’s March. But other than everyone getting and giving a pat on the back, what is accomplished?
I’m a big proponent of public demonstration when it is used in effective manner. An example of effective would be recently in France, where people are stepping off their jobs and actually disrupting something. They’re protesting against neoliberal attempts to weaken their unions and social programs. Another good example is the West Virginia teacher’s strike.The forced REAL action by making a true statement through a strike, despite the fact that West Virginia’s conservatism has decimated union rights in that state.
So while I am glad to see people care enough about something to get up and out of their houses, I would really prefer to believe that they will *really* act. It isn’t enough to go out and protest, vow to vote against any Republican you see, and then carry on with your life. The bad guns laws are a symptom of a greater disease: corruption. Anyone who went to protest now has no excuse to misunderstand the role that special interests (like the NRA) play in our government policy. If you expect something to really change, you cannot ignore this root cause.
Back to the kids – this isn’t their fight. They do not have the privilege to vote for a reason. It’s time for parents and non-parents alike to take control of their “representatives.” Stop assuming the Democrats will automatically save us; they won’t. Until we challenge them with third parties or campaign finance reform, the corrupted leadership of both parties will ignore any issue they want, until we (hopefully) get out of the way of our more informed future generation.