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US kids fight back: you are either with us or against us

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, February 19th, 2018 - 44 comments
Categories: International, us politics - Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving. But instead we are up here standing together because if all our government and President can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see. Since the time of the Founding Fathers and since they added the Second Amendment to the Constitution, our guns have developed at a rate that leaves me dizzy. The guns have changed but our laws have not.

We certainly do not understand why it should be harder to make plans with friends on weekends than to buy an automatic or semi-automatic weapon. In Florida, to buy a gun you do not need a permit, you do not need a gun license, and once you buy it you do not need to register it. You do not need a permit to carry a concealed rifle or shotgun. You can buy as many guns as you want at one time.

I read something very powerful to me today. It was from the point of view of a teacher. And I quote: When adults tell me I have the right to own a gun, all I can hear is my right to own a gun outweighs your student’s right to live. All I hear is mine, mine, mine, mine.

I watched an interview this morning and noticed that one of the questions was, do you think your children will have to go through other school shooter drills? And our response is that our neighbors will not have to go through other school shooter drills. When we’ve had our say with the government — and maybe the adults have gotten used to saying ‘it is what it is,’ but if us students have learned anything, it’s that if you don’t study, you will fail. And in this case if you actively do nothing, people continually end up dead, so it’s time to start doing something.

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.

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.

– Emma Gonzalez

Full speech (11 min must watch).

CNN has a transcript of the speech.

______________________________________________________

On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.

March with us in Washington DC or march in your own community. On March 24, the collective voices of the March For Our Lives movement will be heard.

– March For Our Lives.

44 comments on “US kids fight back: you are either with us or against us”

  1. weka 1

    Eric Bradner‏Verified account @ericbradner

    Parkland students are hammering @realDonaldTrump for his Russia tweet. A few examples:

  2. AB 2

    Admiration for these kids. They haven’t yet had the indignity of half a lifetime of submission to corporate power in order to make a living.

  3. joe90 3

    Hopefully it lasts until March.

    So far, Parkland is *not* fading from the news the way that mass shootings usually do. (The graph shows Google searches for the term "gun control".) The students speaking out makes a pretty big difference. pic.twitter.com/8IcJuJ6yTS— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 18, 2018

    • weka 3.1

      Not sure Silver is right about that, or at least it’s too soon to judge.

      You need comparisons to make that claim. Using same time frame (3 days before and 4 days after incident), you see very similar trends for Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, and Virginia Tech. Orlando seems to have had the most lasting effect

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      Needs to last until the midterms and beyond, and have a significant impact on candidate selection along the way.

      • joe90 3.2.1

        Change needs faces. Internet/social media savvy kids have decided that enough is enough and are willing to stand up. The anti-gun movement is getting faces.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.1

          Smart progressive candidates will be looking to become some of those faces. I daresay some compromised bought candidates will be too.

          Still, as Weka says, it’s very early days yet.

        • Obtrectator 3.2.1.2

          “The anti-gun movement is getting faces.”

          Yes, but from what I’ve seen so far (and my survey admittedly has not been comprehensive), nearly all those faces are female. And a good many of those on the other side are, I suspect, male. This could get pretty nasty.

          Those wanting better gun control may be a majority (possibly even an overwhelming one) in the upcoming generation. Trouble is, I’ve noticed it only takes a few bastards in each generation to ensure that the same old same old keeps on happening.

        • One Two 3.2.1.3

          ‘Anti Gun’…

          J90, you will be able find it…

          Where does ‘gun death’ sit on the list of ‘killers’ in the USA…

          Are the kids protesting all the other line items which kill orders of magnitude more human beings…

          • Sabine 3.2.1.3.1

            just for now, because they are kids and all of that,

            can they only protest the shit that almost killed them and that killed 17 from their school?

            and then maybe later they protest all the other shit that goes on?

  4. adam 4

    I wish them the best of luck.

    They going to need it.

  5. Truly appalling. I heard NZ is more heavily armed than the USA per capita , the difference is here we do not sell semi automatics/ automatics, handguns or even rocket launchers or other such ridiculous military hardware to the civilian population. There is no need for them.

    If you cant hit your deer with a 6 or 12 shot magazine you should be back on the rifle range practicing . Hence also the limited magazines. That Second Amendment has been distorted out of all context. Much of this carnage could be curtailed overnight if the NRA was put firmly in its place and sensible restrictions brought in.

    Its sickening and enraging and straight out foolishness.

    • Puckish Rogue 5.1

      You can buy semi autos including ar15s on a basic firearms license no endorsement required as long as a couple of things are changed and you only need the pistol endorsement to buy pistols so not sure what you’re on about

      • WILD KATIPO 5.1.1

        Dont be daft. That might be hard for you.

        Here in this country , you DO NOT and ARE NOT allowed to take that pistol from the gun club where you use it. You DO NOT carry it on your person as a personal protection device, nor store it in a car glove box , nor even have it in your home.

        And the same goes for automatics, and semi automatics.

        And any hunting rifles , including shotguns ARE NOT stored on the mantelpiece above your hearth like a Hollywood movie set but are locked away in a Police approved safe – with ammunition and / or bolt stored in a separate place.

        Not really any likeness to what we see in America, is it , old chum.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          PR simply pointed out a few errors in your original comment that “the difference is here we do not sell semi automatics/ automatics, handguns or even rocket launchers or other such ridiculous military hardware to the civilian population.”

          Here in this country , you DO NOT and ARE NOT allowed to take that pistol from the gun club where you use it.

          Uh you’re also incorrect on this count. I’m afraid many of your statements are not representative of what actually happens in NZ under law.

          Maybe the presence of weapons like high power semi-automatic rifles isn’t the only or primary factor in these kinds of horrific school shootings? Maybe it’s a bit more complex than that.

          • greywarshark 5.1.1.1.1

            Can you just discuss one thing at a time CV? Can you stick to advising about reality of gun availability in this country and you say that there are less controls on them being accessible than we thought.

            Talking about what might prompt these students in the USA to use them is a
            big problem and needs a separate thread.

            Otherwise we will get bad and interwoven comments, lack of separation of the two aspects.

    • Gareth 5.2

      You heard wrong. We’re 22nd. US gun ownership is about 5 times higher.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estimated_number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        Those stats are guns per person, not proportion of population who are gun owners.

        In the US, most gun owners – roughly 2/3 of them – own multiple firearms, so ownership is actually more concentrated than those figures might suggest.

  6. Sabine 6

    out of the mouths of babes comes truth.

    the kids are alright, they are screwed beyond believe but thats not their fault, sadly there are no adults around to adult.

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    Things may die down a bit, but what we are seeing is a fundamental change in how these young people view the government. You can’t turn the clock back on that.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      You mean it’s might lead young people to increasingly mistrust both the deeds and motives of government in the USA?

    • Obtrectator 7.2

      Seen it all before, eso.

      There was a real sense in the late sixties (among privileged westerners, anyway) that the world just might be on the cusp of something better. Now look at it. (And see my “few bastards” comment, above.)

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Someone should mention that the FBI received numerous tip-offs about Cruz (but apparently had more important things to focus on), and the police visited the Cruz home on a few dozen occasions investigating complaints about Cruz.

    You may point to the presence of ten million AR-15s in the USA as the cause of this particular tragedy, but it seems to me that the incompetence or negligence of authorities is one of the most proximal causes.

    The irony is that these are the very same authorities that some want to rely upon to enforce a ban on semiautomatic firearms.

    • Gabby 8.1

      Some terrible cynics might suggest that the odd school mass murder does no harm at all to law enforcement funding. It would be a terribly cynical suggestion.

    • JohnSelway 8.2

      And the FBI were supposed to do what? He hadn’t broken any laws. That’s the problem here – this kid was allowed to have as many guns as he wanted without any background checking. So the FBI should have done what?

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        And the FBI were supposed to do what? He hadn’t broken any laws.

        Threatening to kill people both online and in real life is no longer a crime in the USA?

        You do know if you threatened that out loud in an airport in the USA they would do you under anti-terrorism laws?

        And from the FBI itself:

        On January 5, 2018, a person close to Nikolas Cruz contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to report concerns about him. The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.

        Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life. The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken

        https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-statement-on-the-shooting-in-parkland-florida

        • JohnSelway 8.2.1.1

          OK – so there was a system failure but what could have been achieved? Monitored him? Sent him to jail? Warned him?

          None of that would have stopped him from buying as many guns as he wanted as Florida has no background checking laws.

          You see where the problem is here?

          • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1.1

            So you accept that the FBI would have taken action to investigate Cruz.

            Had they done so they would have found that he had made multiple threats to kill.

            As for Florida background checks, they have to submit to Federal background check laws, but the private sale/gun fair sales loop hole does need to be closed ASAP.

            • JohnSelway 8.2.1.1.1.1

              And the outcome of the investigation would have been what? Jail? Monitoring for his entire life?

              He’d have still be able to legally purchase guns, any gun, whenever he wanted.

              You see where the problem is here?

              • Colonial Viper

                Prevention of the Florida highschool massacre isn’t a “problem”, it’s law enforcement in action.

                Your hypotheticals about what would happen to Cruz in the longer term are irrelevant to that.

                • JohnSelway

                  There is nothing that can stop Cruz from accessing the weapons he needed outside of jailing him for his entire life.

                  You still haven’t made any suggestion of what law enforcement should have done, only that they didn’t do enough.

                  (And I think I know why you are wanting to paint the FBI as the problem here..)

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You still haven’t made any suggestion of what law enforcement should have done, only that they didn’t do enough.

                    ???

                    I would have left it to the FBI to investigate Cruz and have him charged appropriately. Possibly with multiple counts of threatening to kill as well as hate speech against blacks and jews.

                    A few years in prison would have done everyone a world of good.

                    As I said however, your hypotheticals about what would happen to Cruz in the longer term are irrelevant. These steps would have prevented last weeks Florida high shool massacre.

                    The FBI however totally dropped the ball when the ball was passed right into their lap. Perhaps they were distracted by other things.

                    • JohnSelway

                      And when he got out there would be nothing to prevent him from immediately purchasing as many guns as he wanted.

                      So you see where the problem lies here.

                      And I know you desperately trying to run Trump’s lines about the FBI being to focused on the Russia investigation to do anything about this but that is bullshit.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah as I said, your hypotheticals about what happens to Cruz in the longer term are irrelevant.

                      Multiple threats to kill, multiple instances of hate speech, multiple instances of misuse of a computer. Also possibly cruelty against animals (pictures he posted on social media). Not a lawyer but pretty many of these are felonies in the USC.

                      If he’d ever threatened any teachers or school administrators that might have been considered threats against a government employee – so even more prison time on top of that.

                      Worry about Cruz again in five to ten.

                      The FBI has to focus on real threats not made up ones.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “Other things…”

                      I expect having the POTUS run down their character, motivations and capabilities for twelve months was quite demoralising.

                      To their credit, they’re owning the failure rather than making excuses and lashing out at everyone else.

                    • JohnSelway

                      “Worry about Cruz again in five to ten.”

                      Yeah that’s the fucking point you nitwit – you have to worry about him in 5 – 10 because there is NOTHING to stop him from doing this. Putting him away and then having him come out ready to buy all the the ammos and guns he can muster isn’t irrelevant – it’s the whole fucking point that there is a huge problem with the gun laws. Not the FBI, not the police, the fucking law.

                      You’re the one making the irrelevant point that somehow the entire FBI division in Miami is investigating the Russia connection to Trump. You haven’t come right out and said but we all know what you are doing. WTF is wrong with you?

  9. joe90 9

    The cult of dolt 45.

    There it is: Jim Hoft's Gateway Pundit website is going after David Hogg, a student who survived the Majory Stoneman Douglas school shooting who has been appearing on TV to speak out against gun violence pic.twitter.com/DcfNL4uHuB— Timothy Johnson (@timothywjohnson) February 19, 2018

  10. Sabine 10

    also he was white, and that makes him a lone wolf or some shit like that. Now would he have been named Mohamed – or would he have been an african american, or an undocumented migrant that would be something different altogether, a swat team would have shown up and shoot him upon entering the house. /snark

    however he was investigated – by social services, and the local police got called about 30 times to the property, he was expelled from school, he was diagnosed with a myriad of mental illness, and ….if last year the Obama rule to not sell weapons of a certain type to people with mental illness would not have been removed – btw, this was one of the first things the orange menace did. This may or may not would have applied to the shooter, but for sure now it does not matter anymore.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/us/nikolas-cruz-florida-shooting.html

    as for the FBI – they have admittd tht they failed to do their job. And i am sure the orange menace will be happy to blame the FBI for the death of the students and teachers – or the ‘students for failing to report’ as he already did, cause for sure it ain’t him and his republican legislators that rake in NRA money by the trailer load that could be at fault. Nah, it must be the fault of the other
    http://time.com/5162999/fbi-failed-investigate-tip-nikolas-cruz/

    Contributions to Senators and presidential candidates – that always only can offer prayer and thougths – they have several million dollar worth of ‘prayer and thoughts’ – i hear its good for fundraising.
    http://fortune.com/2018/02/15/nra-contributions-politicians-senators/
    Quote” In the 2016 election, the NRA spent $11,438,118 to support Donald Trump—and another $19,756,346 to oppose Hillary Clinton. That’s over $31 million spent on one presidential race.’Quote

    So yeah, lets all just agree that nothing can be done about it, the kids should just give up, do their active shooter drills and hope to survive kindergarten or high school. It must be all that white working class economic anxiety.

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    6 hours ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
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    9 hours ago
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    11 hours ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
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  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
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    14 hours ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
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  • Major investment in safe drinking water
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  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
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    16 hours ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
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    1 day ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
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  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
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  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
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  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
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  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
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  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
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    3 days ago
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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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    6 days ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
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  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
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    6 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
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  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
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    6 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
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  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
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    7 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
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  • Funding for training and upskilling
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    7 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
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    7 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
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    7 days ago
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    7 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
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    7 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
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    7 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
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    1 week ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
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