The idea is to protest how easily school shootings seem to happen, and how our country has not reacted to this problem ever, other than sending around a lot of thoughts and prayers.
You should know that the planning of this event has already been adulterated by either idiotic Americans or smart Russian spies. Watch carefully and pay attention…
One plan is to have a walkout on March 14th, nationally, which is the one month anniversary of the massacare in Parkview. This is being organized by the Woman’s March organization. The walkout would start at 10:00 AM and last for 17 minutes.
There is also a march in March, the “March For Our Lives” March, on March 24th, planned for DC. Details are here.
In addition to this, there is a walkout planned for April 20th, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, which is considered a sort of inaugural school massacre for our Era of School Massacres. The plans for this walkout are not very clear, but a “change.org” petitioner came up with the idea: “On Friday, April 20th, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting I propose a National High School student walk out. Walk out of school, wear orange and protest online and in your communities”
There is also a walkout of teachers suggested for May 1st. This one is a bit problematic. It is being called by retired psychologist David Berliner. Between now and then, according to the sadly less than lucid professor, teachers have to agree on the gun legislation they want. If they have not received “assurance” that this legislation will become law by May 1st (so that all has to happen at once) then the teachers walk out, apparently forever or until they get the legislation.
There is an internet meme that is a hybrid of those last two. Students and teachers walk out on April 20th, and never return to school. Well, they can return but only after Congress and the President introduce, develop, debate, pass, and sign into law legislation that is suitable and that everyone agrees on, regarding firearms. In other words, on April 20th, the system of K-12 education in the US shuts down forever. Or is this only high schools? Or middle schools plus high schools?
And now it is time for a reality check.
First, passions aside, blurting out a plan for a walk out that you’ve not talked out or worked out or even thought out and expecting people to follow it is out and out selfish and dumb. It makes you feel good, makes everybody else pay for your short term pleasure, produces no results.
Second, and we’ve seen this before, people with jobs or who are retired, who are privileged, or are protected, have absolutely no right to demand or suggest or in any way support a plan in which those who are vulnerable, who are victims, who are in the trenches, give up their livelihoods or their educations in order to for them to try, unsuccessfully most likely, to get what you think they should have. Mr. Berliner’s plan is stupid, he is a dit. And whoever is spreading the Internet meme that the students and teachers have to walk out on the alternative date, April 20th, never to return, is probably a 400 pound Russian troll living in Trump’s basement.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think there should be a protest. I suspect the Woman’s March organized event and maybe the March march will come off and be very good. Perhaps a one month anniversary walkout will be good. But please, do not either a) make the victims of this pattern of massacres pay for your political feel-good ya-ya-jammas, and 2) let’s please try to do activism that matters, meaning that is well thought out, does more than just “raise awareness,” has follow-up, has expected outcomes that we can measure, even if roughly, and that is likely to either succeed, or to fail in ways that have positive outcomes.
And this brings me to this. This is your number one go-to activist act. If you want to stop the NRA and the gun nuts, then here is what you do. If you are a Democrat, identify the Democrats that are currently running in primaries or equivalent for any and all offices across the country who have taken NRA money and X them off the list of viable candidates. Do not support them, and yell at anyone who is supporting them. Don’t listen to these politicians’ “Come to Jesus” speeches. They made their bed. Dug their hole. Produced the petard upon which they shall be hoisted. Don’t listen to them, just write them off.
And let me be more specific. Don’t go on facebook and say “no NRA politicians! Yahhhahgr!” No. Say that, but then name them. Name the names. Look up all the people running for all the offices in your particular poltical catchment. Your state house, your state senate, your federal congressional district, your US senate, your governor, all of it. Look them up. Find the ones who are NRA funded now or in the past. Then name them. If you only do that first part, your facebook or twitter friends will think you are a good person. But if you do that second step as well, you may well find yourself facing a difficult decision. You may find politicians that you didn’t know were taking NRA money, maybe one or more that you liked, that you voted for in the past, that you were planning to vote for this year. Then you have to decide if you have what it takes to engage in this act. You probably do. You are probably fed up. Then, without fail, name the name(s). Let your socially networked friends know that you mean business, and who is in on this NRA thing.
If you just say you don’t want to support NRA candidates, that is not good enough. You have to find them, name them, end them.
Then, in November do not vote for any Republican no matter what they’ve done with the NRA. The Republican Party is the party of guns and of the massacres of children in our schools. Throw the bums out. Throw every one of the bums out. If a Democrat that takes NRA money got through the process and is running in the general election, and this may be the hardest part, don’t vote for them either. That last part might be hard, but you should seriously consider it.
Walk out if you want. March if you must. Protest peacefully with impunity. But in the end, vote for life and not death.
And please, to not ask our teachers to give up their jobs to make you feel like you did something, and do not ask our students to give up their educations to make you feel all juicy-lucy. That is not OK for you to do.
V is for victory over the gun nuts. V is for voting them out.