Yes. And They Are Schooling Us.
Working in a public health environment, I experienced the same feeling looking at the NYRB cover as I did when I saw a picture of a baby smoking that tore up the internet a while ago. Both images just stop you in your tracks and can never be normalized, or we are done.
But one sits in the shade of our Bill of Rights. The other doesn't. That allowed us, on smoking at least, to rewrite history in just one generation. It reassures me that we could do the same for guns.
"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Getting back to the kids, if you don't recognize it, the title of this post is a Bushism, made in 2000. It was taken out of context and was probably more of a slip up. But he did say "Childrens do learn." Both became a meme. And now, I feel, we have a full-throated answer to the question: Not only are they learning, but they're schooling us, royally.
So, this post is inspired by the photo taken in our neighborhood 65 years ago that resonates loudly today.
It is for all the kids packing up to head to DC, to Central Park West or to their local main drag on Saturday. I am watching you in admiration, and I am watching adults fill into your slipstream and take the ride on your effort. And I am watching, in this election year, what pressure you might bring to bear on how the right to bear arms is conferred upon our citizenry by our lawmakers and our policymakers -- who all, in the end, will have to answer to the youth, you: our rising voters.
Thanks to you, our tipping point is Parkland.
Our mantra is your mantra: #NeverAgainMSD. Many of us will say it loudly in person with 6-year-olds, 13-year-olds, 18-year-olds not in tow but way out ahead of us. Pulling us along. Leading the chant.
We owe you deeply for doing the lift we should have done. But failed to do.
Life. Liberty. Happiness. These all precede the Second Amendment, you seem to say. Let's get those right first, you protest. Come November, you warn, he who gets hurt will be he who has stalled.
Saturday, your battle outside will be raging.