HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Sunday, March 25, 2018

 

They refuse to be tributes

by Tom Sullivan

Survivors of the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School refuse to be the gun lobby's tributes. In March for Our Lives events held Saturday across the country, hundreds of thousands of students, parents, victims, and supporters called for legislative action to bring U.S. gun violence to a halt.

Emily Witt of the New Yorker described the main event in Washington D.C. as "a massive outcry against extreme violence delivered with a mix of pop sentiment, corporate coöperation, and an awareness of the socioeconomic privilege that allows certain voices to be heard louder than others."

Ironically, the loudest voice said the most with silence. Wearing an olive jacket and ripped jeans, Emma Gonzalez signaled that she and her friends had not come to the capitol city to play by Washington rules. When Gonzalez took the stage, she carried a timer set to the time the Parkland, FL shooter used to murder 17 of her classmates. After briefly recounting the ordeal she and fellow student experienced, she read the names of friends whose voices would never again be heard. Then Gonzalez stood staring, tears streaming down her face in steely, unmoving silence for over four minutes until her hidden timer beeped at six minutes and twenty seconds.

"Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job,” Gonzalez finished to cheers.

It was a silence as eloquent and powerful as speeches given by men memorialized up and down the National Mall. "Emma Gonzalez just gave us the mic drop of all time," tweeted The Atlantic's Charlie Pierce. "Loudest silence in the history of US social protest," added Mother Jones' David Corn.

While Gonzalez's stoic poise stunned viewers, survivor Samantha Fuentes, 18, spoke loudly by losing her composure. In an angry speech, Fuentes said, "Day in and day out our kids are getting shot up. At the moment we speak out, we are scolded that we are not old enough. It is as if we need permission to ask our friends not to die."

Fuentes herself was shot in both legs during the rampage. She continued, "Lawmakers and politicians will scream guns are not the issue, but can't look me in the eye...."

Uttering that trigger word (no pun intended), Fuentes vomited on stage. She was also struck in the face and has shrapnel behind her eye.

"I just threw up on international television," she smiled upon continuing. "And it feels great!"

Fuentes finished calling for policy changes and asking the crowd to join her in singing "Happy Birthday" to Nicholas Dworet, a fellow Stoneman Douglas student Fuentes said was shot in front of her. On Saturday he would have been 18.

Here in Asheville, 16-year-old Anna Dittman, another Stoneman Douglas survivor, took the stage at the local rally. Tears streamed down her face as she relived the moments when she and her sister ran for their lives, then she read off the names of dead classmates.

The emotions are still raw and unfiltered. That is what makes them hard to ignore. The Parkland survivors have known real fear, seen real death. Being "not old enough" is what makes them politically so dangerous to the gun lobby. The have no incomes to protect, no elections to lose, no rich donors to please, and no powerful lobbyists to fear. Least of all the National Rifle Association, which, exhibiting more fear than these students, continues to attack them. The authenticity of the protesters sets in sharp relief the hackneyed and desperate actions of the gun lobby.

Just as white men long dominated this country as if it were their birthright, the NRA has dominated Washington. That power may finally be eroding. The gun lobby worships the Second Amendment almost as an idol, as if it needs guns to give it courage. The Parkland survivors need none to fuel theirs.

In the aftermath of the 2014 shootings in Isla Vista, California, Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbacher posted an open letter to survivors' families insisting, "your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights." But none of those rights are absolute. The document with which this country was founded asserted "self-evident" truths, "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Those words are not from the Constitution. They are not law. But if they are not to be discounted as meaningless, they should temper the absolutism of the gun lobby.

The right of gun advocates to be happy in wielding weapons of war does not outweigh others' right to live. Let them cry, "But my rights!" Everybody has rights. The mounting numbers of dead had rights. Not everybody is so single-mindedly selfish as to assume their rights take precedence over their neighbors'. Every day across this country, people whose rights are in conflict stand before judges and juries whose job it is to decide in each case whose take precedence. That's how laws work ... if we are still a nation of them, which today is in doubt.

Because the law has failed, as the Parkland protesters know too well. They mean to do something about it.

David Hogg has had enough. The student activist told the crowd at yesterday's rally the student movement means to make gun violence a voting issue. Only eighteen percent of first-time voters, he said, vote in mid-term elections. Not this time:

"Who here is going to vote in the 2018 election?" he asked. "We are going to make this a voting issue. We are going to take this to every election, to every state and every city. We are going to make sure the best people get in our elections to run, not as politicians, but as Americans."

"Because this is not cutting it," Hogg said, pointing behind him to the U.S. Capitol building.
He described adult failure weeks earlier in terms less broadcast-friendly:
“When your old-ass parent is like, ‘I don’t know how to send an iMessage,' and you’re just like, ‘Give me the fucking phone' and you're like, 'okay, let me handle it.' And you get it done in one second. Sadly, that’s what we have to do with our government; our parents don’t know how to use a fucking democracy, so we have to.”
Let the NRA bray. Its threats suddenly sound as hollow as those uttered in Munchkinland by the Wicked Witch of the West, to which Glinda replied, "You have no power here! Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too."

It won't be a house. It will be ballots. It will just feel like a house.

* * * * * * * *

Request a copy of For The Win, my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.