Marches for Gun Control Were Exceptional, Don’t Sweat ‘Bots, Negativity

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Last nights date kind of ticked me off by stating, several times, that maybe pro or college teams would do better *for the psyches of non-starters*—if they played instead of first teamers. She used her cousin’s JV girls basketball team as an example of kids who got a lot better from one coaches efforts in that area.

Now, the difference between JV teams and say, a $17 million a year pro quarterback, should be obvious. One is a developmental situation, the other is being rewarded economically for ability to put a larger quantity of Ws vs. Ls on the board, almost always because of proven statistical-physical prowess. You don’t put anyone else in a starters role unless you want some serious blowback from stars and the fans.

I sent her a note to that effect, and I expect that’s the end of any relationship where an old psychology major’s ivory tower thinking goes against over thirty years of sports writing expertise.

The point is, we all get to have our opinions, because this is still ‘merica. I’m sure she felt as right as I believe she’s wrong, and that will be the case for a lot of things, including Trump and collusion (at least until Mueller gets to bottom of things),

Another situation, an exceptional difference that splits the idea experience makes all the difference, is the students from Stoneman Douglas HS and their terrific push regarding gun control.

A united, one issue block of voters has appeared on the horizon

It’s easy to equate student protesting with the anti-war protests of the ‘70s, when 500,000 people at a time, across the country, put other differences aside to say STOP THIS!together. By all accounts and pictures, this past Saturday was a match to those historic efforts, with some 800 rallies around the world organized through social media. Members of Congress BETTER recognize that a united, one issue block of voters has appeared on the horizon. Statistically, not all 75 million will vote against anything, but its a helluva number to consider.

There have been plenty of BS negatives about this– identifying a sheep drive as photo of one of 800 rallies, photoshopping David Hogg in a Nazi uniform with Hitler behind him, and taking a girl to task for having a Cuban flag on her jacket– but I’m not sure its people or those damn ‘bots getting into act again.

Vietnam split this country in half, and going against the military-industrial complex, yeah, that didn’t look like a winning fight for a very long time either. Vietnam marches always generated tons of “f’n cowards!” talk, now its “f’n stupid KIDS!” There may not be a name to hang on this generation just yet, but I‘m thinking that having them focus on this specific situation will not only define their future, but be a whole lot more productive socially/as citizens than almost any class they miss.

They’re active, clearly sincere about a topic that was never on anyone’s radar until Columbine in 1999, and, as pointed out, has mushroomed into a fact that Stoneman Douglas was the 18th such school assault of the current year–with kudos to the guard who quickly ended #19 in Maryland, only two kids shot.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to work with teenagers, putting every post-millennial or Gen X/Yer down as unworthy compared to The Greatest Generation that won WWII and created the America that lead the world, that’s not the whole Truth.

The naysayers will continue to impugn their age, efforts, and ability to put an effective coalition of the like-minded together, mostly by saying it’s useless tilting at windmills, that they’ve been co-opted by others, or because the NRA’s political and economic reach with government at all levels is too strong.

That some are stuck in a malaise that affects great swathes of this country, and is primarily responsible for the rise of a populist like Trump is seen as different; the sort of young leaders that we’ve seen on the nightly news calling B.S. is a flip side of that coin.

They’re active, clearly sincere about a topic that was never on anyone’s radar until Columbine in 1999, and, as pointed out, has mushroomed into a fact that Stoneman Douglas was the 18th such school assault of the current year (with kudos to the guard who quickly ended #19 in Maryland, only two kids shot).

I’ve had the privilege of working with HOBY leadership programs for a number of years, and those selected 15-16 year olds are *sharp*. They look you in the eye, know how to assess being told specious ‘facts’ (which they will Google), and assimilate truth readily, even if its not used in particular situations the next day.

Having seen the question, “What did they accomplish by walking out of school?” that rings hollow when held against the light of the American Revolution—or Vietnam– which certainly wasn’t fixed in a day or week or month, or without blood, sweat, and tears.

Trump is probably thinking he’s gotten a break by having so many people concerned with this gun control situation vs. porn stars, personal malfeasance, personnel shuffling, trade wars, stock market losses and RUSSIA, but thinking positively, here’s hoping we are seeing something significant from a new force in our country.

Its been said that the world stands aside for a man with a plan—add a whole bunch of women, and yes, a lot of passion from youthful observers who saw the worst up close, and you’ve got something that could move this country’s weak psyche up a notch. Youth is always the overriding casualty of war, so even if gun legislation will be a grind, I’ll hope nobody has to be involved in a full out war where *everyone* has an AR-15 level weapon in any near future.

When the many are fighting for the same goals—and #Blacklivesmatter is in the same neighborhood regarding violence, even if not the same house—it makes a difference. Less guns in Chicago just HAS to slow down the slaughter, and major kudos to David Hogg and others for recognizing they have the spotlight and going to a school in DC to bring their pain into the light as well.

3 thoughts on “Marches for Gun Control Were Exceptional, Don’t Sweat ‘Bots, Negativity

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