Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Parkland Massacre and the Revolt of the Young

Most school massacres in the United States follow a depressing and predictable pattern.

First there is the horror and the shock. Then there are tears and teddy bears, and candles, and heartbreaking pain and sorrow.

And then the dead are forgotten by those who didn't know them or love them.

Until the next massacre tears another community apart.

But the slaughter of 17 students and teachers in Parkland, Florida, the other day seems to be different.

For this time there's a burning anger. 

And it's the the young who are revolting and saying enough is enough. 

Hundreds of students, teachers and residents filled the terrace of the Broward County federal courthouse on Saturday, three days after a 19-year-old gunman wielding an AR-15 left 17 students and educators dead and scores more injured at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Their echoing chants of “enough” and “not one more” weren’t solemn — they were seething.

So when Donald Trump put out this lame tweet.

Without ever mentioning America's gun problem.

This is how one grief stricken student responded:

This other student was also equally harsh. 

We can't ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises. And so, I'm asking -- no, demanding -- we take action now. Why? Because at the end of the day, the students at my school felt one shared experience -- our politicians abandoned us by failing to keep guns out of schools.

But this time, my classmates and I are going to hold them to account. This time we are going to pressure them to take action. This time we are going to force them to spend more energy protecting human lives than unborn fetuses.

Or righteously angry.

And then there was Emma Gonzalez, who at a rally in Fort Lauderdale, delivered one of the post powerful speeches I have ever heard...

When it was over her father hugged her...

As I would done if I was there, for raising my spirits as well.

For I too live in a country where evil Cons would destroy gun control if they could, and bathe in the blood of the innocent. 

And for proving once again what I have always believed.

A new generation is rising.

And it WILL change the world, and make it a better place...


  1. Simon a little history for you. Google the summer of love. The summer of 67. You know what happened when the boomers grew up, you saw it in Parkland. Idealism stripped away by decades of manipulated cynicism. Today we see it clearly in the whole Russia is out to get us narrative. Seriously you think Russians are a threat to our democracy?

    1. Not All Boomers. I'd be inclined to refer to the year after, 1968, when mobilisation was worldwide.

    2. hi Steve...I think time can wear the shine off any generation, but I'm not going to single out the boomers for blame. Some of the most inspiring progressives I know belong to that generation. And my objective has always been to bring progressives together in a mighty coalition that will crush the Cons of this world like bugs. And no I don't see the Russians as a threat to our democracy, but their leader is a tyrant, and would set us against each other, so he is a threat that must be guarded against...

  2. Emma is a stirring speaker! Great response by the student body.

    1. Jackie Blue12:45 PM

      They're also planning a nationwide student walkout on March 14th, and another one on April 20th. Not because it's "4/20 Day" as some snarky commenters have pointed out, but because it's the anniversary of the Columbine massacre that most of these kids weren't even born yet to have lived through -- and still nothing was done, not even "thoughts and prayers" but just blaming the devil's rock music and video games instead of looking at what was used to kill.

      I think a national memorial for the victims of domestic gun violence is long overdue. And as this frequently-cited Politifact link points out, there's been a LOT of them. If Emma and these kids are able to turn the tables on America's gun culture, and the bigly profitable industry of selling death for thirty pieces of silver, that number will hopefully trickle to nearly zero.

    2. hi lagatta...I wasn't kidding when I said that Emma Gonzales' speech was one of the most powerful I have ever seen. And I'm so proud of her and the new generation. As she said, people are always putting them down, but they are precious in my sight, and the best and probably last hope we have to save the world from total destruction...

  3. Masterful words- each and every one of them. Calling out the idiot in chief was a wonderful moment too bad she didn't have the thumbs up pic from the hospital to show just what he really thinks- another photo op, all about him. This may just have awakened the sleeping giant-the next generation- which is soon to replace the one that caused all of this.

    1. hi bcwaterboy....yes they were, and I loved that her speech was written in longhand instead of printed talking points. I think that the gun issue could very well be the issue that motivates the new generation to bring down the Republicans, and the NRA stooges will live to regret their contempt for the wellbeing of their own people. As for Trump and his callous thumbs up, I thought of including it, but I then I thought no, let the kids say what they thought of him, for that would be more powerful than anything I could say...

  4. Anonymous12:24 PM

    Emma's speech was amazing Simon. Couple that with Trump's hollow "prayers and condolences" tweet and it was an emotional rollercoaster that went from deep anger at the orange POS, to hope that these kids will help to finally bring change to the lunacy of gun violence in America.
    Trump, his spineless GOP and the odious NRA would be wise to listen to these kids for as you say Simon, they are the future that will tear them down if they fail to act now.

    1. hi JD...when I first saw her speech at first I was almost moved to tears, and then I spent hours looking and waiting for somebody to put the whole speech on line. For a while I didn't think that was going to happen, as the deadline for writing the post came closer and closer, and all I could find was much shorter versions of it. But then just as I had almost given up, CNN came through, and I let out a whoop that could probably be heard a mile away. Most young people already stand for the opposite of everything Trump believes in, but Emma and others like her could be the ones that bring down the Orange Oaf's castle, and usher in a better world...

  5. Jackie Blue12:24 PM

    As the dotard might say, Emma Gonzalez is an example of someone who is being talked about more and more, for many great and terrific things.

    Except in this case, she really is. The courage she displayed in the aftermath of that tragedy is truly breathtaking. Unfortunately, with the Internet being what it is, she's going to get a crash-course in being a visible and determined female activist who dares take the fight to Dear Leader. But with a fighting spirit like that and millions of people in the U.S. and all over the world in her corner, I don't think the knuckle-draggers on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and YouTube have a chance at taking her down.

    Literally, her life and those of others around her (and really, all of us) depends on standing up to the dotard and his army of keyboard orcs, tiki-waving junior Klansmen, and Russian thugs. Now that Mueller has released the indictments against Putin's countrymen, the dotard is useless to the mad czar -- which means all that the dotard has in his corner is a shrinking army of Pepe worshipers and deluded conspiracy theorists who think even someone like Emma is a "deep-state shill."

    By and large, the kids are all right. And this time around I think they might just be the ones who do bring about a change. Note that Emma brought up the sacrosanct Second Amendment itself as a problem that needed to be fixed, and the crowd of protesters chanted "No more guns." Not just restrictions, not just "controls" -- no more. Good for them. Ban 'em all and melt them down. Defund the war machine.

    I saw this comment on, I believe it was Twitter, from another woman throwing the useless "thoughts and prayers" back in the NRA-bought congresscrooks' faces. It said:

    Why not just ban guns and when people are upset about it, send them thoughts and prayers? If "thoughts and prayers" are good enough for people who've lost their families, then it's good enough for people who've lost their guns.

    Donnie Dotard, John Wayne Gacy LaPierre, and every single Russiapublican with blood on their hands can all stick their thumbs-up and their thoughts and prayers where the Florida sun don't shine.

    1. hi I've said before, I am extremely happy to see how in these dark times women of all ages are leading the Resistance. And Emma Gonzales is a fine addition to that powerful army, and I have to admit when I was watching her speech for the first time I felt like yelling at the TV "Emma run for President!!!" Which is the way it should be, women should be leading the revolt against the old order. For the #MeToo movement has exposed the vulgar often violent misogyny of many men, and enough is enough...

  6. Wed Feb. 21 at 6 pm PT/ 9 pm ET there will be a CNN Town Hall featuring Florida students demanding stronger gun laws.

  7. The Congress Members Receiving the Most N.R.A. Funding


  9. Can’t wait for Trump’s “listening session” on Wednesday. Will students Emma or Sarah be attending?

  10. Shooting Suspect Was on School Rifle Team That Got NRA Grant

  11. Anonymous10:11 PM

    Nikolas Cruz’s Instagram Profile Contains Trump MAGA Hat


  12. Anonymous10:15 PM

    (Video) 'How many more students are going to have to die?' ask Parkland High School students



  13. hi David...thanks for those links. Why am I not surprised that the monstrous Cruz got a grant from the NRA, or that he liked to wear a MAGA cap? Just a glance at the movies, and the TV schedules, and the kind of video games out there, shows a violent culture already out of control. So we need groups like the NRA and leaders like Trump like we need a hole in the head...

  14. Youth baseball team to hold AR-15 raffle despite outcry

    This Republican candidate is holding an AR-15 raffle, just days after Parkland shooting

  15. Excerpt from Vice News Tonight: Feb. 20/18

    Interview with Florida Republican state senator Dennis Baxley (begins at 4:33 mark)

    Alexandra Jaffe: Why should any individual in Florida have an AR-15?

    Baxley: Why should they not?

    Jaffe: Because they’re used to kill multiple people very quickly.

    Baxley: Well, spoons are used to eat stuff and kill yourself with obesity, but we’re not picking up spoons to get rid of obesity.

    Jaffe: They’re not used for mass murders.

    Baxley: I understand where you’re coming from, and I wish that would solve your problem, but it won’t.

    In Florida, Extraordinary Obstacles for Changes to Gun Laws