Those amaz­ing kids

The Amherst News - - OPINION - Shirley Hallee Shirley Hallee’s col­umn ap­pears weekly in the Amherst News.


I can’t re­mem­ber a time in re­cent his­tory when a Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion spokesper­son both­ered to come for­ward so pub­li­cally to de­fend ev­ery Amer­i­can cit­i­zens’ right to bear arms, which cur­rently in­cludes semi-au­to­matic ri­fles. In fact, a lit­tle over a week af­ter the lives of 17 had been taken at the school shoot­ing in Park­land, Florida, the Vice Pres­i­dent of the NRA gave a lengthy un­sched­uled tele­vised talk at the Con­ser­va­tive Po­lit­i­cal Ac­tion Con­fer­ence where he stated he wants to see armed guards in schools and free firearms train­ing for teach­ers.

Wayne LaPierre wasn’t the only per­son within the NRA to take a de­fen­sive stance. The day be­fore, Dana Loesch, a spokes­woman de­bated with sur­vivors of the at­tack at a town hall meet­ing. The NRA even at­tempted to shift some of the prob­lem to the me­dia...say­ing “the main­stream me­dia love mass shoot­ings” and that they ben­e­fit from the cov­er­age be­cause it gives them good rat­ings.

I did watch LaPierre on tele­vi­ hard as it was to lis­ten to his pro­pa­ganda. He in­di­cated that those who are push­ing for gun con­trol want to “make all of us less free.” It would have been ap­pro­pri­ate to re­mind him the Sec­ond Amend­ment of the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion was put in place to de­velop a cit­i­zen mili­tia, and those in­di­vid­u­als were armed with mus­kets...not semi-au­to­matic ri­fles.

If any­one was won­der­ing why the NRA was “so quick on the draw” they only had to check the news. Those amaz­ing kids, mostly se­nior high stu­dents, have or­ga­nized and con­tinue to carry out mas­sive protest marches through­out the United States and around the world. It started with the Park­land, Florida stu­dents and has spread like wild­fire. How­ever, this wild­fire is not likely to be put out any­time soon. These young peo­ple are on a mis­sion...and that mis­sion is gun con­trol.

Those amaz­ing kids man­aged to get a law passed in Florida which raises the age of gun own­er­ship to the age of 21. At that time, some of the teens in­di­cated they viewed this as a small step...but they plan to build on that small step.

This past week­end, just 6 1/2 weeks af­ter the Park­land shoot­ing, marches took place in all ma­jor cities in the United States and in other coun­tries. There were more than 800 marches world-wide. Sea­soned ac­tivists are amazed at what these young peo­ple have ac­com­plished. While some of the suc­cess can be cred­ited to the al­most un­lim­ited en­ergy of the young, there is no ques­tion these teens are in­cred­i­bly in­tel­li­gent and ar­tic­u­late...and they can or­ga­nize.

These amaz­ing kids are not afraid to ac­cept help from all the right places. Mem­bers of congress and pop stars will be march­ing right along with them. Oprah Win­frey and George and Amal Clooney have do­nated large sums of money to add to the sub­stan­tial amounts raised by the young peo­ple. They will not ac­cept help from any of the wrong places... hav­ing turned down sup­port and money from those whose vi­sion is not the same as theirs.

The re­ally ironic thing that has taken place...some of those amaz­ing kids were on the front cover of Time Mag­a­zine...a feat Don­ald Trump has yet to ac­com­plish. might be wise for those who are now in of­fice to note that most of these amaz­ing kids will be able to vote in up­com­ing elec­tions.

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