"Kids Before Guns"

A national turning point

So many school shootings. So many protests. But it really is different this time. 
This moment reminds me of when the Greensboro Four sat down at a lunch counter in 1960 and captured the nation’s attention, largely because it was covered on national TV and the timing was right. It wasn’t nearly the first sit-in of it’s kind, but it had a bigger impact than most before it.
 
These young people have a national platform and they’re using it SO WELL. They’re increasingly intersectional, and they’re building a movement. I think this will evolve beyond guns and really help to energize the actual majority of the country that is sick of Republican greed and corruption.
 
I hope we can all continue to support their leadership.

 

Emma Gonzalez, January 2018

I’m ready to follow these young people to a better future

Parkland students like Emma Gonzales remind me so much of myself at their age. I was ready to change the world, and I knew exactly how to do it. I also rocked the same kind of natty friendship bracelets, and even shaved my head (well, part of it). I helped mobilize thousands of students to stand up for a free-standing Black Cultural Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. I was ready to take on the world. But then life kept beating me down and telling me I was not so important, and eventually I started to believe it.

People my age (and especially older) lack the fire and vision to make the changes we desperately need. These students are right, they are mobilized, and they have a platform to speak to the nation. I am totally ready to follow those young people’s leadership and energy. It’s their turn, and us olds have fucked it up enough already.

Here is some information (via MomsRising) about how we can support their upcoming actions:

Wednesday, March 14: #Enough – A National School Walk Out! The Women’s March Youth EMPOWER Team is calling for a seventeen-minute (1 minute for every life lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School) national school walk out on Wednesday, March 14th at 10am in all timezones.
https://twitter.com/WomensMarchY/

Saturday, March 24th: #March4OurLives – Student survivors from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL are calling for a march on Washington, D.C. and also in cities across our nation on Saturday, March 24th Go to https://www.marchforourlives.com/ for more information.
https://twitter.com/AMarch4OurLives

Friday, April 20th: #NationalSchoolWalkout – Other student and education groups are calling for a longer-term student walk out on the anniversary of Columbine.
https://twitter.com/schoolwalkoutUS/

Photo credit: Humans of MSD 

Orlando Massacre: Thanks, NRA

Civil rights and racial justice are gun safety issues

One of my many brilliant MomsRising colleagues wrote this piece which ties together the threads of surging racism and gun violence in this Trumpist era. She makes it clear why an intersectional approach that encompasses multiple issues at once is required for gun safety advocates to effectively fight the NRA, who works for gun manufacturers and now for the President.

 

By advocating not only for gun safety but civil rights and racial justice, the GVP community will find the voice it needs to engage immigrants and let them know that smarter gun laws would help make their communities safer, and it will finally show the Black and Brown communities that GVP truly is about saving lives and not just about controlling firearms. The Trump Presidency is an opportunity to build these bridges and finally achieve the broad, diverse coalition gun safety advocates need when the balance of power in Washington finally changes and the chance arrives for true gun policy reform.
Civil Rights Is Now a Gun Safety Issue: Hate and Guns in Trump’s America, by Gloria Pan 3/03/2017

“what can I call us but lighthouse”

Revenge” by Elisa Chavez, in The Seattle Review of Books

Since you mention it, I think I will start that race war.

I couldve swung either way? But now Im definitely spending
the next 4 years converting your daughters to lesbianism;
Im gonna eat all your guns. Swallow them lock stock and barrel
and spit bullet casings onto the dinner table;

Ill give birth to an army of mixed-race babies.
With fathers from every continent and genders to outnumber the stars,
my legion of multiracial babies will be intersectional as fuck
and your swastikas will not be enough to save you,

because real talk, you didnt stop the future from coming.
You just delayed our coronation.
We have the same deviant haircuts we had yesterday;
we are still getting gay-married like nobodys business
because its still nobodys business;
theres a Muslim kid in Kansas who has already written the schematic
for the robot that will steal your job in manufacturing,
and that robot? Will also be gay, so get used to it:

we didnt manifest the mountain by speaking its name,
the buildings here are not on your side just because
you make them spray-painted accomplices.
These walls do not have genders and they all think you suck.
Even the earth found common cause with us
the way you trample us both,

oh yeah: there will be signs, and rainbow-colored drum circles,
and folks arguing ideology until even I want to punch them
but I wont, because theyre my family,
in that blood-of-the-covenant sense.
If youve never loved someone like that
you cannot outwaltz us, we have all the good dancers anyway.

Ill confess I dont know if Im alive right now;
I havent heard my heart beat in days,
I keep holding my breath for the moment the plane goes down
and I have to save enough oxygen to get my friends through.

But I finally found the argument against suicide and its us.
Were the effigies that haunt Americas nights harder
the longer they spend burning us,
we are scaring the shit out of people by spreading,
by refusing to die: what are we but a fire?
We know everything we do is so the kids after us
will be able to follow something towards safety;
what can I call us but lighthouse,

of course Im terrified. Of course Im a shroud.
And of course its not fair but rest assured,
anxious America, you brought your fists to a glitter fight.
This is a taco truck rally and all you have is cole slaw.
You cannot deport our minds; we wont
hold funerals for our potential. We have always been
what makes America great.

Go Dick Go

I can’t imagine how excruciatingly painful it must be to be shot in the face, neck, and chest with a shotgun. My deepest sympathies to Mr. Whittington, and I wish him a speedy recovery.

That said… how perfect is this whole Cheney shooting debacle! It’s a great microcosm for this administration: Cheney is ruthless and violent, Bush is out of the loop, the press secretary is even more so. This administration can’t even look open and honest when they actually have nothing to hide. Plus they were hunting without the proper license – these are the people who supposed to uphold our laws? This looks so bad even the GOP is pissed off.
Continue reading “Go Dick Go”