I kept the livestream of the March For Our Lives in the background as I worked on my computer today and I must say that I extremely impressed by what I saw and heard. The speakers kept their speeches short but strong and passionate under the slogans of ‘Never Again’ and ‘Enough is Enough’. There were some popular singers mixed with the speakers but since I am an old fogey who is completely out of touch with pop culture, I could not identify them. But the fact that the crowd seemed to know the words to their songs and sang along with them suggested to me that they were big names in the music world.
I liked the fact that many of the speakers were so close to gun shootings, either having been present during one or had loved ones who had suffered or came from schools and localities that had been affected. This gave their words a resonance and poignancy. They were not discussing some academic issue.
I liked the fact that they opened it up to young people all over the country who had been affected by the gun violence even if it took place outside schools.
I liked the diversity of the speakers that was reflected in the crowd. The one aspect of diversity that was lacking was also a good one – there were no old people among the speakers on the stage. It was entirely students showing that the torch on this issue has been passed from my ineffective generation to a future one that I hope and expect will bring about major changes not just on this issue but for social justice in general.
But what I liked most was the fact that they emphasized over and over again that they were going to punish gutless, NRA-bought politicians at future elections. They repeatedly urged the 31 million people in Americans between the ages of 19-35 to register and vote. They were relentless about pushing the ‘register and vote’ message. The youngest speaker, 11-year old Naomi Walder, reminded everyone that it would not be long before she and her friends would be in voting booths.
“People have said that I am too young to have these thoughts on my own. People have said that I’m a tool of some nameless adult. It’s not true. My friends and I might still be 11 and we might still be in elementary school, but we know, we know that there is an equal for everyone and we know right from wrong.
“We also know that we stand in the shadow of the capitol. And we know we have seven short years until we too have the right to vote.
As the kids say these days, “You go, girl!”
The NRA and its lackeys will undoubtedly be alarmed by what they saw today and will do their very best to discredit everyone who took part. Watch for a major freakout on Fox News and their ilk. But it is going to be hard to accuse so many people of being ‘crisis actors’ funded by George Soros and the promised counter-demonstrations either did not materialize or were so dwarfed in numbers that they did not register in the media.