I really, really hope that people are watching how the Parkland kids are just shredding the gun nuts and the right wing extremists, because it really is an object lesson in how to get things done. Again, it’s a long battle, and very little has changed legally, but laws always follow public attitudes.
At any rate, their recipe for success is simple, but most of all what they are doing is throwing out the old rules. In the old way of doing things, liberals put forward a watered down version of their agenda, and signal they are willing to compromise before the game even starts- “we can all agree on common sense gun laws.” And then we learn, that no, we can’t all agree on common sense gun laws, and they take the weak opening position and push back against it. Then we get distracted, bullied, and allow them to muddy the waters with discussions over clips v. magazine and other gunhumper bullshit, all wrapped around the axle because we let them set the terms of the debate.
Not these kids. They have clear messages that haven’t been muddied by technocratic bullshit- “My friends got shot and there are too many fucking guns and we’re going to do something about it and we’re going to go after people who won’t.” The end result, obviously, is legislation, but these kids are not pushing specific laws- they’ll let legislators do that.
And it is working. A clear message, the moral high ground, and inclusive approach, and most importantly, not taking any shit. Someone throws bullshit at them, they turn it back around and amplify it on their target. See also, Laura Ingraham. And when they get minor victories, like the weak laws that passed in Florida, they don’t celebrate, they nod and get back to going after the motherfuckers who keep putting guns on the street.
It’s a goddamned breath of fresh air. I don’t know if it is because they are young and fearless, because they are smart and social media savvy, if it’s because they have great parents and teachers, or if because being shot at brings one a clarity of purpose, but it’s probably all of the above. We all could learn something from these kids, because the NRA and the frothing wingnuts sure are- the old rules don’t fucking apply any more.