Thursday, February 22, 2018

Will the children’s crusade against gun violence triumph where others have failed?

The original Children's Crusade was a disaster.
This time, things may be different.

 In the 13th Century, the children of Europe set out on a crusade. Or perhaps on two crusades, depending on your historical sources and perspective.

Their intention was to go to the Muslim world and convert all those Muslims to Christianity.

The crusade, or crusades, were a disaster that many of the children paid for with their lives. The entire notion was naive, ill-conceived, and evidently terribly planned (if it was logistically planned at all.) I’m always a bit wary of Wikipedia, but you can get a general outline of how things went here.

Now another “children’s crusade” — this time against gun violence — is brewing in a furiously boiling pot. But this time, perhaps just because the leaders of this crusade are children, they not only can get noticed, but also will have the energy, and more importantly the righteous rage, to get something done.

Already the kids are having an impact. They're scaring the people whose pockets are bulging with gun money. When legislative aides start making up stories and job titles that paint victims as "crisis actors," whatever that means, you know they're terrified. And the fact that the aide, one reprehensible liar in Florida named Benjamin Kelly, got fired for his libel doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of others like him, quaking in their boots at the notion of kids speaking the truth.

But make no mistake. While minor concessions, such as raising the age of gun ownership, may actually get some semi-serious discussion within the next year or two, the kids are in for a very long fight if they intend to get semi-automatic weapons off the streets. Even so, perhaps they really can do it. And in the course of so doing, they can bring down the arrogant hypocrites like Marco Rubio who, deep down, evidently don't really mind very much if large numbers of kids get shot and killed in school, so long as the obscenely huge contributions they receive from the National Rifle Association keep gushing into their pockets.

In a meeting the other day with President Trump, a few of the kids were respectful, even a trifle obsequious. But one or two — and one of the parents — spoke loudly and clearly about what the problem is. 

It’s not mental derangement. Mental derangement has been with us since the dawn of time.

It’s not the lack of teachers who aren’t packing firearms. Putting a holster on a teacher delivers precisely the wrong message about what school is and how kids should feel when they go there.

The problem, plain and simple, like or not, is that any insignificant nobody who decides to go and kill someone, or a whole bunch of someones, can  purchase a rapid-fire assault weapon, and armor-piercing bullets, with almost the ease that he can buy a six pack of beer. In fact, when the killer is younger than 21, he can buy the tools of mass destruction in some states with greater ease than he can buy a six pack of beer.

What the kids, and their parents, and all of us need to do is demand a cessation of the sale and private ownership of semi-automatic weapons, armor piercing bullets, rapid-fire enhancers like bump stocks, and other accessories that make these assault weapons a menace to civilized society. America needs to institute a buy-back program, with a time limit. After that, mere possession of any of the aforementioned tools of mass murder ought to be at least as serious a crime as possession of Class A narcotics, and the sale of any of these murder machines as serious as large scale drug dealing.

But how to go about doing this? Laws against semi-automatic weapons can be passed if support of the sale and possession  of these weapons becomes as fatal to a political career as a bullet to the chest or head is to a six year old at Sandy Hook, or a fifteen-year-old in Florida.

And finally, we’re off to a good start.

Marco Rubio was met with contempt and jeers the other day when he refused so support a ban on assault weapons, or to renounce the support of the NRA. Cowardly Governor Rick Scott of Florida, and President Trump, didn't even have the guts to come to the meeting.

But let's focus on Rubio for the moment. He has chosen his rope. Now let’s hang his political future with it.

I hope the kids will have the strength and resources to build crowds of followers who jeer Rubio wherever he goes. 

By refusing to take weapons out of the hands of murderers, Rubio has become a knowing party to the murders they have committed. He ought to be greeted, wherever he appears in public, with a two word chant: Rubio, murderer!

Say it aloud. Get used to it. Repeat it. Teach it to others. Rubio, murderer! Rubio, murderer! Rubio, murderer!

Then let the chant spread to any of top ten recipients of NRA money when he or she seeks re-election. You can see the names of the current top recipients, and the obscene amounts of money the NRA has given them to support the murder of children in schools, here.

You needn’t go after everyone at once. Start with those in whose states gun murders with rapid fire weapons or armor-piercing bullets have been committed, plus a few of the other top dollar recipients. Pick them off politically. Then go on to the next few. After a while, many of the others will get the idea and either quit supporting the murder of children,  or quit running for public office.

If it's the latter, good riddance to these vultures.

Kids, you’re off to a great start. If I may make a polite suggestion, please don’t be quit so polite. And don’t be put off by politicians who say they’ll “think about it,” and who hand you the hypocritical lie that their thoughts and feelings and prayers are with you. If they had any more humanity than a pit viper, their thoughts and feelings would move them to ban assault weapons.

Either they support banning rapid fire weapons or they don’t. Ask them which of the two it is. Demand an answer.

And one more thing.My hat is off to the kids of America for having the guts and the gumption my own generation seems to have lost. 

P.S. Just as I was about to post this, I noticed a story in the New York Times that indicates that Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association, has begun trying to work up his membership into a mouth-frothing frenzy. “History proves it. Every time in every nation in which this political disease rises to power, its citizens are repressed, their freedoms are destroyed and their firearms are banned and confiscated,” he said. 

Yeah, Wayne. Like, umm, Australia. And England. And France. And the rest of the civilized world.

LaPierre blamed the problem on "socialists" trying to "politicize" the deaths of the last 17 victims of somebody with a semi-automatic weapon. So that's what he thinks of the 14, and 15, and 16, and 17-year-olds who went through the shattering experience of being fired upon by a gunman. Pay no attention, folks, they're nothing but a bunch of socialists.

Hey, hey, NRA
How many kids did you kill today?

Where, where is Wayne LaPierre
He belongs in the electric chair.

1 comment:

Jerry Shepherd said...

The NRA is condoning murder while wrapping itself with the American Flag.