The dialog yesterday between victims of school shootings and politicians was heart wrenching but also potentially transformational.
At the White House, students from Parkland and other victims of school shootings urged President Trump and his administration to take some kind of action to change the laws governing guns. The event may have just been a feel-good media ploy by Trump, who was caught holding a cheat sheet that reminded him to say “I hear you” (because he’s incompetent on his own), but we can hope that he might take a different stance after hearing so many tragic stories. Keep in mind, his administration has done everything in their power to water down the background check system, to narrow the definition of someone who should be denied a gun via background check, and to allow people judged mentally ill to get guns.
Other school shooting victims and their families spoke to a gathering of Florida politicians including Marco Rubio, a major benefactor of NRA campaign cash. After days of criticism, Rubio did a decent job of appearing like a moderate despite his extremist history on issues like guns, and seemed open to regulations that two weeks ago would have been non-starters. The passion, earnestness and clarity of the students was extraordinary.
However, the father of a shooting victim had perhaps the most powerful moment of the event with Rubio, and it SHOULD NOT BE MISSED:
As this father made clear, the problem in this nation is guns. “Do something about guns.” It isn’t mental illness, it isn’t violent video games, it isn’t immigrants. Too many weapons of war are too easily accessible, especially by people who shouldn’t have them, and it’s a national disgrace. A solid majority of people in this country agree, and we must raise our voices and make sure that in a week or two, when Trump is embroiled in yet another scandal or ridiculous lie or grotesque comment or vile policy proposal, we don’t let guns slide off the radar screen.
Common sense gun control is a winning issue, and has been for a while. Our politicians have been scared to embrace it because gun nuts have been a very vocal (and well funded) minority. Not anymore. We have to keep our voices raised and make sure our candidates have our full support on this issue. Rep John Faso has prostituted himself to the NRA, and will continue to do so without apology. We need to beat him over the head with this fact until he is repealed and replaced.
BONUS – My favorite meme from yesterday: