February 20, 2018
By Harold Meyerson | Mar 09, 2018
Maybe the kids can do what the grown-ups can’t: beat the GOP and the NRA.
The anti-gun-insanity Children’s Crusade (well, really, a teenagers’ crusade) that is emerging in reaction to the Parkland massacre has clear potential to a sweep away the roadblocks that congressional Republicans have long placed before any efforts to institute universal background checks on gun buyers and to ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons. Whatever the kids may be, they’re not the “other.” They’re not liberal elites or PC academics; most aren’t immigrants; more than half are white. They’re very hard to demonize, and their demand—stop killing us—doesn’t ring all that radical to the ear.
Remove demonization from the conservatives’ quiver, and you’ve all but disarmed the right. No longer able to shift the discussion to the secret agenda of the left, the NRAniks might actually have to debate the merits of, say, universal background checks—which 90 percent of the public supports. ‘Tis a conversation devoutly to be wished.
The kids have the potential to push the debate a little beyond that, too. Opposing all members of Congress who’ve taken the NRA’s pieces of silver (more than 30) extends the discussion, willy-nilly, to the absurdity of our campaign-finance system. And banning the sale of killing machines like the AR-15 could be accompanied by corresponding legislation that limits the sale of ammunition.
Take to the streets, kids, to the digital and actual soapboxes, and to precinct walking for candidates who’re opposing those incumbents who place a higher value on NRA endorsements than they do on your lives. You have real enemies in high places. You can really help oust them.