Integrated Wisdom

Grass Roots Social Movements

What about Guns?

So now we have the latest situation — the killing of 17 students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. After each of such incidents, activists have pressured legislators to change our gun laws, and that has gotten them nowhere. However, this one may be different. The students are becoming activists and they are organizing. Their rhetoric is militant and they are planning events — a march on the Florida state capital, classroom walk-outs, and a march on Washington — and they’ve motivated others around the country to do the same.

Whether or not they are ultimately successful will depend on how well they can sustain the pressure over time. By that we mean keep the issue in the public eye so that more and more citizens can be become part of the movement.

parkland shooting.jpg

Parkland, Florida

At the risk of being too optimistic, these students seem to be on the right path — they are spacing things out. The process works best if demonstrations are spread over weeks and months across different cities, instead of having one day of marching nation-wide. Doing it all at once makes one loud noise, but it’s over quickly and can be forgotten a week later.

Long-term clamoring, on the other hand, is ultimately much more annoying to lawmakers.


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