A headline from this past weekend reads “NRA Takes Aim at ‘March for Our Lives Rally, Mocks Gun Violence Survivors.” Did we expect otherwise? Mockery and deflection, along with alarmist tactics, are always available as easy tools for trying to ruffle an opponent or sway popular opinion. The March for Our Lives, however, could, despite the NRA’s attempts to belittle it, prove to be very powerful, and the sentiments it inspired are likely to continue to gain momentum.
The March for Our Lives, a nationwide protest against gun violence, organized by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting, took place last Saturday, March 24, in Washington, D.C., with numerous “sister” marches taking place around the world.
“Not one more,” reads the March for Our Lives mission statement. “We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.”
Yes, the March for Our Lives received a large amount of funding and social media support from well-known names such as the Clooneys and others in Hollywood. It does take money to pull off such a large-scale event. Are we as upset about the funding that some of our representatives in Congress get for supporting the NRA?
Yes, the March for Our Lives was well-organized. This, along with the fact that it was funded by some celebrities, has inspired the narrative that the organizers, who were all witnesses to horrific gun violence, were puppets of the “liberal anti-gun lobby.” This idea seems weak, unless one is a conspiracy theorist who also believes that the Parkland shootings were staged by the “anti-gun left” so that people would hold international gun violence demonstrations because they want to “take away all of our guns.”
The NRA and its supporters, in the aftermath of every school shooting and every other mass shooting in the U.S., panic about the possibility of losing their right to possess assault-type weapons, while dismissing or ridiculing those who point out the horror and devastation such weapons have caused, and almost certainly will cause again. That way of prioritization doesn’t seem at all strange to them.
The March for Our Lives took place at a time when Congress had already finished passing legislation for the year. Some will see that as waste. The organization states that “ The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.”
A great deal of the power of the March for Our Lives, however, will come from the fact that it included a large drive to register voters. Many of those newly registered voters are impassioned young people who have been watching their peers work to effect change around gun control laws while the adults appear to have done nothing. All of them will be able to vote in the 2018 mid-term elections. Indeed, the March for Our Lives could have an even larger impact than simply introducing immediate legislation – it could, through votes, replace the climate of the current Congress with one that is no longer controlled by the gun lobby.
Millions Join #MarchForOurLives For Gun Control | The View [2018-03-26]
Gutfeld on Saturday’s Gun Control March | Fox News [2018-03-26]