The Countertop Inspections Have Begun

So, let’s see. Either the students from Parkland are too young to have an opinion (says a junior studying journalism at a conservative college). Here’s the best answer I found to that charge:

Or, they are incapable of organizing a rally without help from groups funded by George Soros (that pearl of wisdom was from Jack Kingston on CNN).
Or, one of their fathers is a retired FBI agent and therefore can’t be trusted.
Or, and I’m not linking to this one, David Brooks thinks they need to show more respect to gun owners.
We’ll see how these kids handle this bullshit, but given this amazing account from a reporter who actually talked with them, I think they’ll handle it pretty well, all things considered, and I think March 24th will be an interesting day.

Rapid Evolution of Columbus Man

Yesterday, Ohio Governor John Kasich went on CNN to sell himself as a reasonable Republican on gun issues. In the convo with Dana Bash below, Kasich says he suggested to a “gun collector friend” that a ban on AR-15s wouldn’t erode his (the friend’s) the 2nd amendment rights, which is straight-up heresy in the Church of the Gun, though Kasich did stop short of endorsing an assault weapons ban. Kasich got plenty of plaudits from non-Republicans for his leadership on the issue!

Mistermix covered it here, noting that Kasich had conveniently transformed himself into a 2nd amendment absolutist when it suited his purposes a few years back.

After the tweet above went viral, I took a look at Kasich’s 2nd amendment “issues” page. Here’s what it looked like earlier in the day on Sunday, as the CNN tweet was blowing up:

Sounds like a typical NRA shill, right? “[S]igned every pro-2nd amendment bill that crossed his desk,” and “endorsed by the National Rifle Association” and “opposing Barack Obama’s gun control efforts” blah blah blah.

I took a screen shot of that page to disabuse people on Twitter of the notion that Governor Kasich, who wants to be President Kasich, is in any way a moderate on gun control — at least, he wasn’t before the brave kids in Florida started calling out NRA-branded politicians.

But later yesterday afternoon, on another device, I went to take another screen shot of the page above for the same purpose, and poof! It was gone!

Huh. It’s almost like the Kasich social media team realized the staunchly pro-NRA page didn’t match up with the candidate’s governor’s new persona. Someone put in weekend overtime to produce today’s page:

So, in 24 hours, Kasich evolved from “Defending the Second Amendment” to “Common Sense on the Second Amendment.” Good for him, I guess.

Was it a sincere conversion, or has he sensed a shift in the political wind? I quit giving Republicans the benefit of the doubt before the turn of the century, kids. But whether Kasich is a cynical bastard is beside the point: Something’s happening here.

Florida Woman vs. Florida Man

In case you missed it, here’s a speech by a young woman, Emma Gonzalez, who survived the Douglas High School massacre. She calls out Trump, the NRA, Senator Grassley and the other cowardly shits who have done nothing while people, including school children, are slaughtered by maniacs with easy access to weapons of war:

I’m so damn proud of these kids. Some highlights for the video-phobes:

If the President wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association.

You want to know something? It doesn’t matter, because I already know. Thirty million dollars. And divided by the number of gunshot victims in the United States in the one and one-half months in 2018 alone, that comes out to being $5,800. Is that how much these people are worth to you, Trump? If you don’t do anything to prevent this from continuing to occur, that number of gunshot victims will go up and the number that they are worth will go down. And we will be worthless to you.

To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you.

[Crowd chants: “Shame on you!”]

If your money was as threatened as us, would your first thought be, how is this going to reflect on my campaign? Which should I choose? Or would you choose us, and if you answered us, will you act like it for once? You know what would be a good way to act like it? I have an example of how to not act like it. In February of 2017, one year ago, President Trump repealed an Obama-era regulation that would have made it easier to block the sale of firearms to people with certain mental illnesses.

From the interactions that I had with the shooter before the shooting and from the information that I currently know about him, I don’t really know if he was mentally ill. I wrote this before I heard what Delaney said. Delaney said he was diagnosed. I don’t need a psychologist and I don’t need to be a psychologist to know that repealing that regulation was a really dumb idea.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa was the sole sponsor on this bill that stops the FBI from performing background checks on people adjudicated to be mentally ill and now he’s stating for the record, ‘Well, it’s a shame the FBI isn’t doing background checks on these mentally ill people.’ Well, duh. You took that opportunity away last year.

The people in the government who were voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and our parents to call BS.Companies trying to make caricatures of the teenagers these days, saying that all we are self-involved and trend-obsessed and they hush us into submission when our message doesn’t reach the ears of the nation, we are prepared to call BS. Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS. They say tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call BS.

If you agree, register to vote. Contact your local congresspeople. Give them a piece of your mind.

[Crowd chants: “Throw them out!]

Several hundred folks in my part of Florida — hundreds of miles from the Douglas High massacre — had a rally against gun violence yesterday. Wouldn’t it be ironic as shit if FLORIDA, of all fucking places, ends up being the birthplace of gun sanity?

Meanwhile, from his Disgraceland estate in Florida, Trump uses dead kids and teachers as human shields:

That deranged globule of rancid marmalade is on a Twitter tear this morning. I’m not going to subject you to further rantings from that quarter in this post, but it confirms what we already knew: Now that Trump can no longer deny Russia’s cyber attack on U.S. democracy, he’s casting himself as its chief victim, and he’ll do absolutely nothing to stop further attacks.

Like the high school kids in Florida, we must find the courage to put an end to this bullshit ourselves. Our government, as presently constituted, isn’t going to help us. We have to change it.

Shot, Chaser

Sounds like he’s whatever kind of “guy” he needs to be on any given day. Fuck him, and mark your calendars for March 24.

Two Things That Give Me Hope

Yesterday, Betty wrote about signs of hope that this shooting might cause some change. I’m not a natural optimist about the human condition, but I’m feeling just a wee bit hopeful, for two reasons.

First, this mom explains the stark, ugly, brutal reality of “active shooter training” better than I ever could:

According to the ALICE training company, over 1 million kids have been exposed to the notion that they should scurry around like noisy frightened rabbits if someone with a gun starts shooting up their school.

Second, we naturally focus on the children and adults who are killed or maimed in these shootings, but the damage goes far beyond that:

On that day, Townville’s [S.C.] kids joined a group that now includes more than 150,000 students, attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools, who have experienced a shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, according to a Post analysis of online archives, state and federal enrollment figures and news stories. That doesn’t count dozens of suicides, accidents and after-school assaults that have also exposed children to gunfire.

That number surprised the hell out of me, even though I should have imagined it. 150,000 kids felt, to some extent, the sheer terror of possible violent death. Many of them have lasting psychic scars, like the 7 year-old girl profiled in the piece where that stat is quoted.

These are just two examples of how we are inflicting damage upon our children just to mollify a bunch of gun humpers with big mouths and deep pockets. At some time – and I’m not going to delude myself into thinking that time is now – we’re going to say enough.