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“Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job”

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, March 26th, 2018 - 32 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, democratic participation, leadership, us politics - Tags: , , , , , ,

Two short videos from yesterday’s March for Our Lives. The first is Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez. Stick with the bit in the middle, this is a woman holding the attention of hundreds of thousands of people.

The second is Naomi Wadler’s reminder that Black Lives Matter, that African Americans in particular have been at the forefront of the push for gun control for a long time, and that this goes beyond school shootings.

I’m not going to say much other than I find it incredibly exciting to imagine what these stunning women/girls will do over the course of their lives. Also, they understand the power of the vote. More than that will be needed but this is a generation of activists coming of age. All power to them.

 

photo from ABC news.

32 comments on ““Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job””

  1. Heather Grimwood 1

    To me, this march is the most momentous recent happening on our planet. It is hugely encouraging to this ageing activist to see the determination and vitality by such a mass of young folk ( and some not so young in support) as they progress their specific goal, part of the age-old problem that still confronts our world.
    May they go from strength to strength in safety.

  2. tracey 2

    I hope it maintains momentum. Prior attempts in the States recently have failed.

    Part of me worries that when women, and women of colour in particular lead like this , misogyny raises its head to silence them. I base this on history

    • Carolyn_Nth 2.1

      But women and people of colour keep rising, and rising again, and will do so until things really change for the better.

      Great to see the torch being picked up by young people.

    • Heather Grimwood 2.2

      That’s why I emphasised that they go in safety Tracey….physical and retributive.

  3. Macro 3

    Thanks for raising this horrendous issue weka, and the strong voice that is growing stronger by the day in the US demanding change. As the young people say – this movement will not die away – as the NRA hope it will. They are more empowered than I have seen from young people for a long long time. It brings back memories of the protest marches of the Vietnam War. This will not be a short term episode. Gun violence and its root causes are endemic in US culture. A very good graphic account of the issue with comparison with other countries (including NZ) is here:
    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts

    • tracey 3.1

      The NRA will do more than hope it will go away. History suggests they will put time money and resource into silencing it

    • Heather Grimwood 3.2

      to Macro at 3: The graph in the website you quoted above with its horrendously clear message should be spread widely, being absolutely clear to those of any age, language background, or reading ability. I have no doubt it will be.

  4. One Two 4

    ’11’ year old pushing gun reform…

    Leaving the numerology aside…

    It is neither prescient nor impressive that this ‘issue’ is the focus of the young people…understandable but nothing more than that…

    Silos and vaccumes create a controlled narrative…

  5. soddenleaf 5

    Why arent they removing reversing elected judges, sheriff’s, and going back to appointments in the US. Seems if you want to remove money from politics they should mean it. I believe in the right to bear arms, dont personally, but seems to me that the freedom of speach means losing the right to bear arms, the right to bodily integrity, the right to vote… …American are right to love freedom of speach, but not when that means they are killed, denied abortion access, crimilized and lose the vote, etc. Seems to mean all their freedom of speach is used by are those wanting to control others. The founding father foresaw this that’s why they implored only to establish a militia. A kid owning military grade weapons is not a militia, actually undermines the future ability to create one, since everyone will be worried that their neighbor goes rogue and starts shooting. yeah, the nra silence, do nothing approach undermines the right to bear arms.

  6. Exkiwiforces 6

    If these kids and their supporters keep this up and maintain the momentum this to protest. I feel that we will some meaningful firearm law reform in the US and what amazes me atm is the silence from the NRA, apart from their bullying attempts but can’t produce any real argument for against any firearm law reform in the US and its they are a possum frozen between headlights of a B Double truck who’s to about be roadkill.

    I say good luck to these kids and to their supporters for having the balls to stand up to their elected officials and the NRA for their inaction over the lack of any meaningful firearm law reform. As any change to the US and State Firearm laws is going to come from these kids.

    I’m a firearms user, qualified weapons trainer, shooting coach and range control officer/range safety supervisor for static and field firing up to crew served weapons. For me owning a firearm since the day I picked one up as a kid that is a privilege that society has given to me and it come with a number of responsibilities and is not some god given right.

    • McFlock 6.1

      I think the NRA are just hoping it’ll die down soon.
      I hope – and suspect – they’re very wrong.

      As for firearms themselves, I have a real love of the evolution and engineering of them. They’re a wonderful mix of precision three-dimensional (4d, really) engineering matching up with tolerances for very harsh environments. Some of my favourite youtube channels are the ones that go into the workings or history of them, rather than just the bangbang vids. Then you get into the math around long range shooting…

      But almost everything after the advent of smokeless powder is primarily most useful for killing people. Unless hunters need a “mad minute” for something, of course.

      • Exkiwiforces 6.1.1

        I think the NRA has miss the train to Nelson on this and if these kids can maintain the momentum on this one. The NRA will be waiting at the platform for the next camel train to Timbuktu for a very long time as the NRA have no response or counter argument to these kids atm and I don’t think they ever will.

        I fully agree will your second comment love’m or hate’m they wonderful bits of engineering and to I like watching old fashion bespoke gunsmiths like Holland and Holland of London or the research of ballistics. I’ve got a couple mates in our SF unit who are sniper qualified apart being Joint Terminal Air Controllers qual as well and they were saying they now shot from the reverse side of hills etc, we always knew this could be done in theory and they are actually do it for real.

        It just shows you just how money is spent on the science and the art of killing instead of something more worthy like clean water or housing etc so some bloke or female can shot a .300, .308 or .50cal from the reverse side of a hill.

        • McFlock 6.1.1.1

          Sniping as indirect fire? Gosh.

          And it’s odd where the videos go – I also do a bit of decorative craftwork on the side, and one of the firearms channels actually had a full video on how damascene inlay was done on antique firearms. Actually added something to my “to do” list for a workshop session.

          • Exkiwiforces 6.1.1.1.1

            Yes indirect sniping who would’ve thought of that 30yrs ago that we now have the capability to over a hill! They would’ve been saying don’t be daff son it’s not possible to shoot over hill.

            There is a village up in the back blocks of Pakistan where the local gunsmiths make copies of almost every known firearm to man and their workmanship is to a standard that would the famous gunsmiths of London like Holland and Holland a run for their money. As one of my mates from down Sth was in one weapon intelligent teams said you couldn’t impossibly tell which one was real or copied they were that good unless you knew what you were looking for. He’s more of a gun nut than I am and he said you would’ve been impressed at the quality of workmanship.

            Come to think about, I believe old mate Palin from Monty Python pop into the Village on one his visits to the Hindu Kush.

            • joe90 6.1.1.1.1.1

              a village up in the back blocks of Pakistan

              Home of the Khyber Pass copy.

              • ExKiwiforces

                Yeah that’s the place and I actually thought it was wee bit further Nth of the Khyber Pass as there is few lesser known passes further nth into the Gan.

    • One Two 6.2

      According to the Constitution it is ‘a right’…

      Because you or anyone else belives otherwise is irrelevant..

      Maybe the kids (or the adults who are responsible for them) could protest about the weapons manufacturers, the war machine, the failed healthcare system and connection between mental health, pills and mass shootings…

      Those who wish to address the symptoms are as much a part of the problem…

      What would ‘meaningful reform’ look like to you?

      Your comments are a knowledgeable read, which is why I am asking…

      • McFlock 6.2.1

        The constitutional interpretation has changed over the years. So change the constitution. As Jim Jeffires put it, it’s in the fucking name:second amendment.

      • ExKiwiforces 6.2.2

        To answer your question is very hard one? Having talked a number of American’s over the last years as most of them that I have met do own a number of firearms of all sorts.

        These people are very proud of their constitution and what it stands for, even then a very few of them do believe that the 2nd amendment wording needs to change to reflect modern day American values. As everyone agrees that to change the 2nd amendment wording will require the Pollies to have some very big set balls to force it through and the back lash from almost every quarter of US society would be up in arms in more ways than one.

        Most them really fear the introduction of UK, Australian style firearm laws and again Pollies to have some very big set balls to force it through and the back lash from almost every quarter of US society would be up in arms in more ways than one.

        I asked them what about New Zealand’s Firearms Act, “but isn’t the NZ a part of Australia they say” Lol. First of all New Zealand independent country for starters, but once I explained that and the NZ firearms Act to them and how its meant to work. Almost all of them thing a NZ style of Firearms Act may work in the US? But the big question remains is the NRA, the various states with USA and the small minority who are anti government (the alt right and the alt left) but pro constitutional of 1st, 2nd 3rd amendments etc. etc.

        I believe that some version of NZ Firearms Act would still persevere their 2nd amendment with having to change it? It would reduce the number of mass shootings because of the way the NZ firearms act have been written and that the NZ Police haven’t really inforce the firearms act even then it only to suit them when they want to. If the NZ Police do not enforce the NZ Firearms Act and if they did enforce the act as it has been written then the shooting at Hastings would’ve never had happen in the first place or they may’ve had adopted different Course of Action prior to visiting old mate.

        At the end of the day the their Pollies have to grow a set of very large balls to take on the NRA and even a bigger to take on the who are anti government (the alt right and the alt left) but pro constitutional of 1st, 2nd 3rd amendments etc. etc. Its going to take a lot of courage, but these kids and their supporters are showing the way for the Pollies in the US atm.

        • One Two 6.2.2.1

          Thanks for the response exkf…

          IMO focussing on one component of the ‘problem’ is large part of a wider problem…

          It’s too simplistic to be credible…(not suggesting that’s yourself)

          What is your position/opinion on weapons manufacturers/dealers and the war machine?

          Do you feel they should ‘stay in business’with a monopoly on weapons’ possession and death?

          Pharmaceutical and chemical industry?

          • ExKiwiforces 6.2.2.1.1

            My apologies for not returning to your questions, As I’ve been a little busy on other stuff and I had a rather interesting email/ letter about RNZAF re-forming a Unit that was disbanding in the 91’s under National which was a so called cost-saving and which in part leaded to the closing of RNZAF Base Wigram my local airbase as a kid. (There is going to something released soon on this and the P3 replacement in the next 2-3wks. Some stuff is already in the public thanks to us eagled eyed plane spotters).

            Anyway I’ll try to answer you questions as best as I can.

            Yes there is some big issues IRT US Firearms ownership and the way the Laws are administered at state level. In some state they very strict and others pretty dammed loose when you compare it the Canada, UK, Oz and NZ Firearms Law.

            The NRA has fuel the Firearm sales in the US with Lobbying at State and Federal level IRT to the US constitution to a point where every pollie is almost shit scare to stand up to them. This in turn has fed the Firearms manufacturing into overdrive because any Tom, Dick and Harry can almost buy a Firearm with very little oversight at their local Walmart (I now believe Walmart or someone similar has pulled the pin on over the counter sales) , corner shop etc. Most over the counter sales are at gun shops or gun shows with little or no oversight.

            There is a big market for select fire firearms in the US and almost over 90% are not for hunting, but home defence, the alt Right/ alt Left are forming their own Militia’s, god bothering crackpots, those who are scared of the UN/ Feds aka big government and or the world is going to end in some way.

            There is some light at the end of the tunnel as we all know that the Yanks love to sue any Tom, Dick and Harry atm. This approach is starting pay dividends as one of the USA’s oldest Arms and Ammo manufactures has just filed Chap 11 Bankruptcy which is an interesting read as why they have gone tits up.
            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-28/america-oldest-gunmaker-remington-files-for-bankruptcy/9595622

            Since the day man and women pick a weapon of some sorts and started to beat the shit out of each other, there is always going to be the need and unfouturely firearms are rather effective at this doing this. Yes there should restrictions on the selling of Select Fire Firearms, but I owned a few of them: I had a SKS 10 and later a 7 shot semi auto for hunting mainly mob animals Goats, Wallabies and pigs, had a SLR, M14 and a L4 Bren Gun for service match shooting. But my prefer firearm of choice is the .308, .300 10 shot bolt action, .30-30 lever action or the .45 rifle with a silencer as I can do more damage with these instead of a Select Fire weapon.

            There is always going to be a demand weather it through having strict oversight or through the black-market. Just have a look at the arms industry itself with end user certificates or UN Arms embargos over the years at where some of this stuff ends up??? Its like the war on drugs in other words its the free market gone bonkers and who ends up footing the Bill???

            Pharmaceutical and chemical industry I really don’t a view on this, but all I can say as long we don’t go down the US route IRT Pharmaceutical and chemical industry as there has to be strict controls on this and If you have been to states then you would why especially if you have gone off the beating track like I do.

            Further reading I suggest these two books for starters “On Killing, The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society” and the other “On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace” both by Lt Col Dave Grossman both books have excellent references for further reading and I use these for training/ training management, those in metal health use his books for dealing PTSD and how a mass murder/ Killer works.

        • Macro 6.2.2.2

          Here is wording of the 2nd Amendment

          “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

          If we look at the history surrounding this, it is clear that the intention of the amendment was to ensure that a effective militia was maintained and the right for men (it was only men in those days who were allowed to join the militia) to keep and bear arms was within the gambit of an active and well regulated militia. It says nothing about sport, hunting, collection, or personal security. For instance in 1939 sawn off shot guns were banned in the US. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Congress could ban sawed-off shotguns because that weapon was of no use in a well-regulated militia, making it clear that the right to bear arms was inseparable from the role of a militia.
          In recent times (from around the 1970’s) the NRA has changed the debate to one of the right for individuals to bear arms irrespective of whether that person is part of a militia (now days the National Guard) or not. They have effectively reinterpreted the 2nd Amendment for their own purpose which is contrary to its initial intention – which was very similar to the concept of privilege you espoused at the end of your opening comment.
          For instance -What the NRA doesn’t like to admit is that guns were regulated in early America. People deemed untrustworthy — such as British loyalists unwilling to swear an oath to the new nation — were disarmed. The sale of guns to Native Americans was outlawed. Boston made it illegal to store a loaded firearm in any home or warehouse. Some states conducted door-to-door registration surveys so the militia could “impress” those weapons if necessary. Men had to attend musters where their guns would be inspected by the government.

          • ExKiwiforces 6.2.2.2.1

            Yes, the facts have been so twisted over the years at I fear from my informal chats with my US counterparts really don’t have a clue on what they talk about because the 2nd Amendment has been lost in translation over the years.

            We need to understand that when the 2nd Amendment was written every male was running around with muskets and not Select Fire weapons Firearms as we have today. Also the Regular US Army back then was rather small and more of a Cadre Force to provide training to the “Militia” which all changed after the War of 1812 which almost ended badly for the young USA which decide to invade Canada while the Brits were giving old Boney a thrashing.

            Which is why i’m partly against a written constitution because of US one hasn’t been updated over the years to reflect modern values etc and I prefer the setup with the GG having its reserve powers to keep the pollies in check.

  7. mary_a 7

    This is indeed an amazing protest movement, one which should be applauded for its sheer guts in challenging the NRA. Even more so that its birth began through the hurt and pain suffered by far too many youth, who survived mass school shootings, having the misfortune to witness their friends and fellow students die in violent circumstances.

    May this collective protest movement gain strength and momentum, hopefully without violence. However this is the USA …. a place where access to guns is easily available it seems, in particular to mentally unstable Americans, another point on its own which needs addressing.

    • Exkiwiforces 7.1

      Yes, that’s key for these kids if they want meaningful change to the US/ State firearms law is to maintain the momentum if they want to achieve their endstate and if they lose it the NRA will be all over them like a bunch of angry hornets as you have poke their nest with a stick. It won’t be nice feeling btw.

  8. Jenny 8

    BLM vs. NRA

    The Black Lives Matter movement slammed the National Rifle Association on Friday after the group filed a lawsuit against the Florida legislation that would raise the age to buy rifles to 21.

    The civil rights organization retweeted the Associated Press and called the NRA a terrorist organization.

    The NRA’s decision to file the lawsuit comes after Florida Governor Rick Scott signed off on the Senate Bill 7026 in the wake of the Parkland school shooting when a 19-year-old entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with an AR-15 rifle and killed 17 people.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/black-lives-matter-calls-nra-a-terrorist-organization/ar-BBK5wdw

  9. Macro 9

    Weka – you missed this one:
    Martin Luther Kings 9 yr old Granddaughter leads the crowd in the chant:
    “Spread the word! Have you heard! We, are going to be, a great generation”
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2018/mar/24/martin-luther-king-jrs-granddaughter-9-leads-chants-at-anti-gun-rally-video
    Also the editorial in the guardian:

    Yesterday, we Parkland students made history. And we’re not going anywhere

    by a student editor from Parkland. Amazing stuff.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/mar/25/marjory-stoneman-douglas-high-school-parkland-students

  10. Wei 10

    Really, are there not a lot more important things to worry about around the world than Americans killing one another?

    Why do we give a shit so much —is it because they are still primarily a white country?

    And these ‘liberals’ are no better than the ‘conservatives’ – the democrats are just as vicious in their imperialism, if not more, than the republicans

    I’m all for the US destroying itself – it will be fantastic for the rest of the world, and save the rest of the world the hard work of ridding itself of this global parasite.

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