We are leaving our children a planet doomed by climate change and a nation saddled in debt and deficit with an economy that is widening the gulf between rich and poor. We are leaving them a country where it is becoming harder for citizens to vote and where our drinking water is becoming less safe to drink. We are leaving them all of this, and more, and the worst of it is that the only ones we are leaving it to will be those lucky enough to survive the relentless gun violence that takes the lives of over a thousand of our children each year. Five years after Sandy Hook, nearly 20 years after Columbine, what Garry Wills memorably called “our Moloch” is still our Moloch; we still sacrifice our children to the Gun God.
So much of what we witnessed last week in south Florida has become familiar to us, from the initial shock of the news to the helicopter views of the campus to the eyewitness accounts of survivors to the grief of the parents to the grim body count to the terse announcements by overwhelmed law enforcement officials to the trite expressions of remorse from complicit politicians. And always in that parade of horribles there is the grief and the frustration and the anger and the senseless of it all. This week’s shooter, for example, reportedly managed to get off 150 rounds with his AR-15, a weapon he lawfully purchased in the same society that deems him too young, too immature, to order a beer.
But the aftermath of the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland was different from all its tragic predecessors in one sense. For once, the sorrow and rage offered by adults immediately was drowned out by the wrath and the reason of their children. No longer willing to be sacrificed for some hoary constitutional theory, one surviving student after another, born in the shadow of Columbine, from the moment of the attack and for days afterward, relentlessly and courageously called out their parents and their politicians and their president for failing to do what every child has a right to expect from all of us every day: protect them from danger.
Read the full article on Politico.
The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily those of the Brennan Center for Justice.
Flickr Image by Fabrice Florin, CC BY-SA 2.0.