Do children’s social and political movements tend to be effective?

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt:

Children are effective messengers because they are difficult to convincingly attack. It’s easier to forgive their excesses and their mistakes, and they are not constrained by having full-time jobs. The very fact that children are doing something attracts news coverage. If even a child sees the need to speak out, we all should be listening; they of course have the greatest stake in America’s future.

Today, President Donald Trump dominates media cycles in an unprecedented manner. It’s thus not surprising that two of the social movements that seem to be breaking through — #NeverAgain and the immigration reform pleas from the Dreamers — have children in prominent roles. Young people, like our president, are somewhat fresh and unfiltered, albeit with different content. They are harder to mock than, say, Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush. Emma González, an attack survivor, only joined Twitter this month (@Emma4Change), and she already has more followers than does the National Rifle Association.

Do read the whole thing.


I think a more accurate way of putting that would be that the Hard Left is more effective when it hides behind children. I doubt that the money and organization for these campaigns came from selling lemonade.

The problem is that the cynical exploitation of the young in this way causes cynicism in the public and cheapens the public discourse.

Hard to argue the kids are being exploited when they're the ones leading the movement, driving change and going on TV. No one's forcing them to do that.

It is absurd to argue these children are in charge. They are on TV because the hard faced men behind them know that they would lose if they tried to argue with grown ups. So they send out the children. Let's see the NRA beat up on them. But the men behind the children are the ones in charge. Just as the organ grinder's monkey is not calling the shots.

Exploitation? These children will have something cool to put on their CVs and so probably will be rewarded with a full scholarship to Yale or something. So they will get something out of it too.

'because the hard faced men behind them'

Hopefully, you would not say the same thing about MADD. Who am I kidding? Of course you would.

Of course I would. MADD is a great example. It is a lobbying group that takes millions of dollars from the government in order to tell the government to do what the people running the government would like to but do not dare say openly because the voters will not like it.

Are there any Mothers in MADD? There were. The founder certainly lost her daughter in a car crash. But she was forced out. She now decries the lack of grassroots activity. She has been replaced by single issue fanatics and the usual professional charity administrators. Who manage to spend 60% of the charity's money on themselves. None of whom, as far as I know, have lost any children. Some of whom are not mothers. In fact many of them are men. But they continue to hide behind the protection the concept of MADD affords them.

'in order to tell the government to do what the people running the government would like to but do not dare say openly because the voters will not like it'

Do tell us more about the voters that support drunk driving.

Because declared intentions are exactly the same as policy results, right?

'Because declared intentions are exactly the same as policy results, right?'

In what sense? A Republican member of Congress that campaigned for 20 years on a balanced federal budget platform, then voted for the deficit increasing tax cut is clearly a case where declared intention and policy result diverge. From someone responsible for the policy, at least in terms of voting to support it.

An advocacy group is not in a position to actually create federal law - that is what Congress does. Of course an advocacy group may be flawed in whatever sense one wishes to point out, but the policy result is in the hands of lawmakers, not (competing) advocacy groups.

SMFS is not only 100% correct, he has clearly touched a nerve among the gullible, partisan left.

Nicely done!

"Do tell us more about the voters that support drunk driving."

MADD long ago morphed into a reincarnation of the Anti-Saloon League:

Il est vrai que ta peur de la gauche dure ne correspond pas à ma peur du pénis dur. C'est pour le bien de la nation que des cocus comme vous doivent être réprimés. Les hommes fiers ne se permettent pas d'être cocu par le pénis noir. Vous apportez la honte à tous!

Exactly! There are kids who are for gun control and ones who are against. The people in charge of the news decide which ones to put on the air. They will choose the ones who further their goals.

Didn't Harvey Weinstein teach us that putting 18 year olds around ultra high-status powerbrokers usually winds up not so great for the kids? Politics is bloodsport, and the cynics that play it are ruthless sharks. I don't care what side of the debate you're on. You're throwing a naive, idealistic high schooler into the colliseum with people who've been ripened from decades of unchecked ambition to pure ruthless Machiavellianism. They're going to get used and thrown away. Best case scenario, they're used in a way that doesn't leave lasting scars.

What do you think of the Children's Crusade (was there even such a thing or was it urban legend) and those boy brigades that fought for the Confederates at the end of the US Civil War?

Not that illiterate media would know this, but children's crusade historically referred to the thousands of European children that took up the cause of holy war against Islam, lead by a self declared boy prophet. They arrived in North Africa, where they were all sold into slavery, ending their quixotic task.

Nevermind, it's actually quite fitting.

@Russian Twitter Bot - yes, but it's apocryphal say the revisionists. (Wikipedia): "The Children's Crusade is the name given to a Crusade by European Christians to expel Muslims from the Holy Land said to have taken place in 1212. The traditional narrative is probably conflated from some factual and mythical notions of the period including visions by a French boy and a German boy, an intention to peacefully convert Muslims in the Holy Land to Christianity, bands of children marching to Italy, and children being sold into slavery. A study published in 1977 casts doubt on the existence of these events, and many historians came to believe that they were not (or not primarily) children but multiple bands of "wandering poor" in Germany and France, some of whom tried to reach the Holy Land and others of whom never intended to do so. Early versions of events, of which there are many variations told over the centuries, are largely apocryphal."

Given medieval catholic theology and political theory children and the truly indigent were exchangable. Also Raedt’s revisionism has been questioned. Several of the first generation sources appear to be reliable in other matters.

I think the most relevant part of the legend though is that they were said to be sold off into slavery by their fellow christians and even many of their own leaders. This is part of some of the older stratum of the story.

'They’re going to get used and thrown away.'

Well, at least they weren't shot, like some of their classmates. So they have that going for them in terms of life experience, right?

According to CNN, the average American is shot at 3-4 times per week. The number triples in the typical Democrat city with tough gun laws.

We all need to be careful out there.


Has any said one thing that wasn't enunciated a thousand previous times?

When you grow up . . .

This mass-hysteria (and 88% bull shit) reminds me of the so-called Children's Crusade of 1212.

These kids are cute, little bull horns the left uses to spread ridiculous gun mythology.

. . . .you may (I'm not hopeful) learn that none of us knows everything. And, that there is nothing new under the Sun.

'the Hard Left is more effective when it hides behind children'

Who knew that MADD and 'just say no' were part of the hard left social agenda?

'The problem is that the cynical exploitation of the young in this way causes cynicism in the public and cheapens the public discourse.'

Well, that certainly was the case with Nancy Reagan and 'just say no,' but then, Hollywood hard leftists are like that, aren't they?

You just have to post *something* don't you? Regardless of whether it is relevant. Or whether you have anything to say. With a wiki link.

Just Say No was never fronted by children. It might be been poorly thought out, it might have failed, then again it might not. But it was adults in charge lecturing children. Not the other way around.

Another waste of bandwidth.

'Regardless of whether it is relevant'

Well, your insistence that everything involving policies you don't approve shows the Hard Left is undermining your purity of essence isn't relevant either. Though impossible to keep from mocking. Mea culpa.

'Just Say No was never fronted by children.'

No, the kids were just paraded and used by hard eyed hard leftists like Nancy Reagan.

'But it was adults in charge lecturing children.'

Like in this ad? - Or this one? Obviously adults were in charge back when it was not possible to spread a message using the Internet, but as those two examples show, no adults in sight doing any lecturing - Just Say No was an attempt to use peer pressure, at least in part. Like sneaky Hard Left types are wont to do, of course.

"Clock" isn't irrelevant. He/she's ridiculous.

"Facts! We don't need no stinkin' facts! We got kids emoting." That's (emotions and media) all the left has.

Look! I feel terrible about 14 affluent, mainly-white suburban kids being shot to death. But, it wasn't me or 5,000,000 NRA bros and sisters. And, trying (you can't) to take from us scary-looking guns won't stop it.

'We got kids emoting'

When was the last time anyone you knew was killed by gunfire? Or even injured? Or, to be fair in terms of most of those affluent, mainly-white suburban kids in Florida, shot at but missed? Or even heard gunfire aimed at another person with intent to kill?

What is bizarre is watching how a certain segment of America just shrugs its shoulders, saying what can you do, over and over again, as nothing is done and the death toll grows. And this is not even about gun control - America stands out in comparison to other industrial societies in its seeming unconcern about children being killed at school, at least when it comes to taking any measures that are in the least effective in even levelling off the number of school shootings where students are killed .Even when they are affluent, mainly-white suburban kids.

Translation, "I am an idiot."\

It doesn't mena anything. But, FYI the last time was August 13, 2013 on SW corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, NYC. Two dead, one by the bad guy one by two NYPD officersm who emptied their high-capacity mag semi-auto pistols in ten seconds. ANd, I wasn't wearing my brown underwear! Also, the NYPD "Annie Oakley's" wounded nine bystanders, not me, too bad huh.

Before that (not shooting) the first WTC attack on February 26, 1993, the big one on 9/11/2001. Way before that, in the late 1960's Vietnam.

I was being charitable. Is it ensgrined in The Constitution? What in being involved in shootings empowers gives ignorant, teenagers to bully me and millions of Americans?

Sensible gun laws: This just in. FL legislators reject assault weapons gun ban and act to permit teachers to be armed. The FL legislature and the NRA will not cave.

Vous n'êtes pas subtil concernant votre comportement de cocu. Vous êtes un cocu flagrant. Pourquoi ne pouvez-vous pas être un homme réel, pourquoi devez-vous promouvoir l'humiliation par l'intermédiaire du pénis noir?

You speakee English?

Veritable human shields, I’m afraid.

Mais ce sont des cocus comme vous qui ne se battent pas et qui pleurnichent sur les blogs. C'est de vos manières cocu que l'heure de la domination de gauche de la culture est venue. Vous n'avez pas agi comme un homme mais plutôt pleuré comme cocu.

Votre seule existence est simplement d'agir comme une feuille, un objet d'humiliation pour la gauche. Pour se lever et faire des déclarations fortes sur les blogs seulement pour jouer le cocu encore et encore dans ce drame horrible. Vous êtes comme la taupe dans le jeu d'arcade, être giflé sans fin avec un pénis noir.

What's that? A French bot?

I, for one, think the French cuckold troll is an upgrade from the normal cuckold troll.

Fewer guns is a hard left position ?
You are a strange person.

Well then, how about no guns? That’s what my colleagues, none of whom have ever hunted or fired a gun, openly tell me is their preferred outcome.

No guns is most certainly the hard left position.

'No guns is most certainly the hard left position.'

Which undoubtedly explains why the Nazis were such apparent fans of no one having guns. Because if there is one thing the Nazis are famous for is how as hard leftists, they opposed the hard rightists of the Soviet Union, a country where citizens often had hunting weapons in the vast rural hinterland, thus preserving Soviet freedoms from the gun control crazed Nazis..

Is there a term for when you are trying to be sarcastic but you end up just telling the truth?

To be plainer - the leftist Nazis did institute gun control to help them take over power.

"thus preserving Soviet freedoms from the gun control crazed Nazis"

Wow, prior has reached a new low. Now he's lauding the Soviets for preserving freedom.

I am sorry but on what alternative reality is that not a fair and reasonable description? How many Republicans are calling for the confiscation of guns? How many Blue Dogs are even left but among those that are left, how many of them want confiscation? The Democrats have put up another gun ban law. How do you think the voting will break down?

What is more the politics of this are entirely partisan. The Left does not want to punish their own voters who commit the vast majority of murders in America. They do not want to even enforce the laws they have. They want to punish Republicans who shoot deer. For instance, Chicago has more or less given up punishing people for illegal guns. Those guns are mostly handguns which kill something like 6000 people a year. Mass shootings with long guns kill about 18. On average. It is virtue signalling and nothing else.

The underlying issue is even more partisan - the issue divides those that think adults should be able and equipped to take care of themselves from those that think adults should depend on their much more educated and enlightened Betters to order their life for them so when they are being murdered they should sit calmly and wait for the police to secure the perimeter and organize their CNN interviews until the shooter runs out of bullets. The former are almost by definition on the Right, the latter on the Left.

Whatever the public face of this group I expect that ultimately the money is from Soros and the organization from Acorn or the like.

We got a winner!!!!!

It's because of Soros.........

Actually, in the real world (almost no one here lives there), statistics tell us that more guns lower crime rates.

"Fact! We don't need no stinkin' facts!" When they expose their error.

'statistics tell us that more guns lower crime rates'

Wrong -

An overview of the work - 'States that have enacted right-to-carry (RTC) concealed handgun laws have experienced higher rates of violent crime than states that did not adopt those laws, according to a Stanford scholar.

Examining decades of crime data, Stanford Law Professor John Donohue’s analysis shows that violent crime in RTC states was estimated to be 13 to 15 percent higher – over a period of 10 years – than it would have been had the state not adopted the law.'

One of the panel data analysis methodologies used in the paper was the panel John Lott used in More Guns, Less Crime, by the way.

Don't you have homework to do?

What if you fanatics "look" at all, not just gun, crimes as individual acts instead of as excuses to try to screw fellow citizens whom you dislike? ..

>Fewer guns

Nigel is adorable!

"... they of course have the greatest stake in America’s future." Especially if they are Nicaraguan children.

So Much for Subtlety is a Russian sock puppet.

That would explain a lot.

Guys, you should be kinder to the people who will pay for your elder care.

Do you mean the people eating Tide pods and pushing gun control?

It's very hard. The stupidity . . . it hurts.

Yes, they may be idiots but even idiots pay taxes. Raising taxes is one alternative to the public and corporate retirement fund crisis.

How would trying to screw 85,000,000 gun owners and raising taxes alleviate the (unfunded) private corporate pension fund crisis?

More big government failure. ERISA has been federal law since (what?) the late 1970's.

The legal age to purchase a gun was raised to 21 years in Florida (pop ~20 million). How this change in Florida screws 85 million gun owners?

United Mine Workers of America has been asking for a federal bailout for their pension fund since 2016. The coal workers union have gained empathy with congress people. But, if they get a bailout.........who will be the next ones crying for a bailout? More taxes.

Let's hope our pyramid schemes are eliminated before the next generation gets fleeced. There really oughta be a law against such fraud by the government.

I read his column. Sorry I did. He had a number of anecdotes but of course didn't offer an answer to the question he posed. Exactly how many movements do teenagers NOT participate in? He does NOT claim they are "leading" the social and political movement, so as usual - there's no there there.

BTW, in today's WSJ (2/27/2018) pg A15, McGurn disposes of the teenagers as sages meme.

WSJ McGurn 2/27/2018

“These teens do not need to be scripted. Their youth and earnestness makes it all but impossible for any adult to advance a counterargument without looking indifferent to the horror these kids have been through. If you don’t agree with what they want, they seem to suggest, you’re OK with mass shootings—as Mr. Rubio and Ms. Loesch found out the hard way.

Quick show of hands for those with children: How many of you look to your teens for political wisdom, whether it’s the daughter obsessing over her Snapchat streaks or the son who would spend his day eating Doritos and binge-gaming “Grand Theft Auto” if you let him?”

This in no way diminishes the barbarity of what happened to the Parkland students. It is, however, to insist on the obvious: As terrible as their experiences were, the attack gives them no special insight into the complex array of public policies that might have prevented the slaughter.”

'the attack gives them no special insight into the complex array of public policies that might have prevented the slaughter'

Writes a man who undoubtedly had a classmate or two gunned down in his youth.

Hearing/seeing your friends gunned down makes one qualified to lead the world?

I saw a lot of that. I'm one of millions of American youths that came home from the Vietnam War.

The assholes in power correctly didn't let us run the country.

More ridiculous stuff: you never fail to disappoint. Felicitously, you do it in 50 words or less.

'Hearing/seeing your friends gunned down makes one qualified to lead the world? '

Who is realistically talking about a few high schoolers running the world?

'I’m one of millions of American youths that came home from the Vietnam War.'

And I grew up among the sorts of people who likely commanded your battalion or regiment, assuming you saw combat. As a group, they seemed surprisingly unenthused about the idea of people walking around with weapons in daily life, possibly because they were professional soldiers and had more than a theoretical interest in weapons safety, especially in situations where weapons were being held by people without any training at all.

'The assholes in power correctly didn’t let us run the country. '

Nope, we ended up with draft dodgers like Clinton and Trump running the country. Do you honestly think that was an improvement?

One reason why Emma Gonzalez has more followers than the NRA is possibly because most people who are NRA members do not have Twitter accounts; it is also likely that the NRA members do not want Twitter because it is seen as the bullhorn for cosmopolitans. Also, how many of us would argue that Twitter is an optimal place for civil discussions?

Since when are teenagers on the cusp of high school graduation children? My only issue with Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg is that they represent the view point of gun control advocates. Their domicile -Broward County- is also a Democratic bastion. Where are the voices of the teenagers from Stoneman Douglas who are not in favor of gun control? Where are the voices of survivors? Should there not be qualified and broad support if a movement is to be successful, even a "child's" movement? Do Gonzalez and Hogg have the support of all or most of their peers?

And because Twitter is busy banning conservatives.

Yes, I agree. That too.
Further: Tyler Cowen mentions all the positive movements led by children; however, without the barbarous Chinese youth, Mao's bloody revolution would have never been successful. Of course, there is the evil allegory of children as evil monsters anchoring The Lord of the Flies.

It's a universal truth in debates, and I think it started with Abe Linclon, and it goes "When the facts are not on your side, argue the number of Twitter followers."

Children now seems to include people that can drive cars and own property. At one time puberty was celebrated as the end of childhood and the beginning of life as an adult.

From being told not to eat Tide Pods to leading a "movement" the space of a week. Gotta love the US of A.

Today's column by David Brooks is about the current generation attending the nation's elite colleges. What comes through the comments made by the students Brooks interviewed is what might be called adolescent unfiltered literalism. It's what makes it difficult to challenge them, which is Cowen's point. But here's another way of looking at adolescent unfiltered literalism, by comparing the comments made by a student in the Brooks' column about the American Revolution (a "rounding error") and attitudes about the Bible and faith: is the American Revolution to be viewed as simply historical and factual or is the America Revolution to be viewed as experimental and aspirational, and is the Bible simply historical and literal or is the Bible theological and spiritual? What we see today reflected in attitudes about America is the same as in attitudes about religion. The student's comment in Brooks' column about the American Revolution reflects adolescent unfiltered literalism as do the attitudes about the Bible and faith of the growing legions of youthful fundamentalist Christians. Just as the student in Brooks' column can only see America through a historical and literal lens, fundamentalist Christians likewise can only see the Bible through a historical and literal lens.

This is a great comment. Growing up in the 90s, I thought this inappropriate literalism was a product of Christian fundamentalism, but I can see now that it is equally present in the left.

Surely this must be the empiricism of scientific training seeping into our broader philosophical outlook on the world (and not for the good).

Do the children and media supporters know that their cause is being named after a movement of xenophobic youth religious fanatics that attempted to exotic and very well advanced kill people of color? One that ended in complete destruction and failure?

I routinely tell patients and their families that they should try to delay major decisions in the wake of trauma - take some time off, take it easy for a few weeks, etc. The grieving process makes it difficult to empathize, weigh options, and forecast. I deal with the families of GSW fatalities days at least daily, in the main I expect them to have psychiatric symptoms for at least a month, this is normal. I expect anyone who has survived that sort of heinousness to exhibit poor planning skills because that is what our brains typically do when we cope with trauma.

Expecting these teenagers to come up with anything novel is pretty terrible. Their biggest idea seems to be banning assault weapons; great I will see maybe one fewer dead kid a year (and odds are that will be a suicide by cop). That will, of course, be a massive political fight, will send sales of the soon-to-be-banned rifles through the roof first, and will take decades to show any effect. It will undoubtedly suck all the oxygen out of the room for anything that would actually be regularly helpful, like making it easier for me to use hearsay to get weapons out of the ex-boyfriend's hands when his ex-girlfriend tells me that he was making threats. I can think of a dozen lives that would have saved, but instead we will go again for something that sounds good - ban the gun that did this - instead of something boring that actually is useful.

The grieving child is entirely about the optics and emotions of the issue. If we followed the logic of these proposals we'd ban smartphones for everyone under 21 (I see idiotically more MVCs that kill people thanks to smartphones than I ever see GSWs from rifles); we'd likely also crack way down on underage marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol use. The logic of their positions are pretty weak, and they read very much like those of people in the midst of the grieving process.

'Their biggest idea seems to be banning assault weapons'

Who says youth cannot learn from the past?

'May 3, 1994

To Members of the U.S. House of Representatives:
We are writing to urge your support for a ban on the domestic manufacture of military-style assault weapons. This is a matter of vital importance to the public safety. Although assualt weapons account for less than 1% of the guns in circulation, they account for nearly 10% of the guns traced to crime.

Every major law enforcement organization in America and dozens of leading labor, medical, religious, civil rights and civic groups support such a ban. Most importantly, poll after poll shows that the American public overwhelmingly support a ban on assault weapons. A 1993 CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll found that 77% of Americans support a ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of semi-automatic assault guns, such as the AK-47.

The 1989 import ban resulted in an impressive 40% drop in imported assault weapons traced to crime between 1989 and 1991, but the killing continues. Last year, a killer armed with two TEC9s killed eight people at a San Francisco law firm and wounded several others. During the past five years, more than 40 law enforcement officers have been killed or wounded in the line of duty by an assault weapon.

While we recognize that assault weapon legislation will not stop all assault weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals. We urge you to listen to the American public and to the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacture of these weapons.


Gerald R. Ford

Jimmy Carter

Ronald Reagan'

Nothing like dead GOPers to buttress one's current opinion.

I guess you're all done with St. Ronnie?

I was commenting about high school students taking up a mainstream position from a generation ago.

Whether they were using dead GOPers to buttress their current opinion has not been reported on - it is quite possible they came up with it on their own, without even knowing just how mainstream that position was in 1994.

I'm waiting for leftists to cite Reagan that we need to outlaw Russia forever and begin bombing in 5 minutes.

For what it is worth, California has managed to do both at the same time. We have restrictions on assault rifles (sensibly concentrating on the non-symbolic magazine ejection mechanism) and we have a defined path to remove guns from people at risk, including domestic abusers.

And hey, people still hunt, target practice, protect their homes, or just go out in the desert and shoot.

More on the difference between California and Florida law:

I get the due process concerns (after all the KKK was pretty big into gun control for certain people back in the day), but I should be able to exercise some professional judgment and say I have medical reason to believe a person is violent and likely to hurt someone. I should be able to get guns removed for a couple of days (e.g. cooling off when the girlfriend leaves after previous violence) or at the very least I should be able trigger some sort of evaluation to that affect.

I promise, my day is far too busy to waste time with people who I just want to annoy. But the number of women treated who went on to be shot by (ex-)partners is just astounding.

It is not like this jackhole in Florida was some unknown mystery. Basically every school shooter I have ever heard about (and emergency docs hear a lot) fits a pretty blindingly obvious profile: male, ages 14-40, difficult family circumstances, previous history of disciplinary/criminal problems, and behaviors that stand out to friends, family, and professionals as highly disturbing (e.g. animal abuse, domestic violence). These are not unfathomable criminal minds.

Over 90% of the GSWs that come through our doors are from handguns. An assault weapons ban looks like a terrible waste of political capital that does changes the body count very minimally. I would far rather do things that I expect will actually save real lives. California's gun restraining orders look sensible to me and I generally find Californian regulations to be just a bit nutty.

And while we’re at it, let’s tell Larry Nassar’s victims to quit testifying in court and talking to the media about preventing sexual abuse. We would expect anyone who has survived that sort of heinousness to exhibit poor planning skills because that is what our brains typically do when we cope with trauma.Expecting these teenagers and young adults to come up with anything novel is pretty terrible. The grieving gymnast is entirely about the optics and emotions of this issue. If we followed the logic of their proposals, we’d ban sports for anyone under 21.

Grief is natural coping mechanism for dealing with trauma and loss. Uncomplicated grief, in the medical sense, tends to resolve in around six months and many of the psychiatric changes in mental processing and stimuli weighting are no longer present. Nassar's victims are either past traditional grief or dealing with psychiatric issues just a bit more complicated. The women I have met from his case do not show the psychiatric signs of grief.

Regardless, grief tends to impair risk evaluation and related skills. We know this because it shows up with Stroop testing or WCST. Grief can impair factual recall, but it can also cause hyperfocusing on traumatic events (e.g. PTSD).

The two situations require very different mental skill sets and the time depth is a major factor in alleviating psychiatric symptoms.

It is almost like repeated encounters with GSW victims and their families gives a good understanding of typical grief reactions while clumsy internet rhetoric is worthless.

From what I have seen, these kids have been pushing mainstream ideas, things that poll as majority positions with the American people.

Adults had settled into a cynical acceptance, which these kids seem to have broken.

We can hope, because the alternative is pretty much what you see above. The American people believe a thing, but a minority act crazy enough and angry enough that nothing ever gets done.

Here's hoping that "acting crazy" as a method of political leadership has jumped the shark.

Exactly, polling always support common sense gun regulation. The 'no regulation whatsoever' stance of the NRA is what has been outside the mainstream. Like you mention, the kids presence has broken through the cynicism of thinking this is just 'politics as normal'. Doesn't mean that legislators will bend this time, but its a definite change in how these things are seen. I am now more confident that 20 years from now we'll see much stricter gun restrictions than I had been following the last shooting in Connecticut.

"polling always"

supports vague ideas even if the specifics are contradictory.

What other rights do you think should be given up because they are "mainstream ideas, things that poll as majority positions with the American people"?

Oh Bob, Bob, Bob.

I say "majority positions" and you say "other rights do 'you' think." Did you think that was a clever shift?

I think majority calls for sensible gun laws are entirely constitutional. Heck, we have many of them already in California, and they have withstood legal challenge.

Clever enough you couldn't answer I guess.

Read it again.

It isn't about me. It is about majority positions on gun control. They are Constitutional.

What more do you need?

"they have withstood legal challenge"

Partial list of things that have "withstood legal challenge"

Blacks are not citizens
Jim Crow
Sterilizing the mentally ill
Interning people based on race
Abortion on demand

Sorry, I don't worship courts. They make mistakes all the time.

If you don't agree with the majority positions, why did you cite the polls?

"Sorry, I don’t worship courts" is a pretty good example of "acting crazy."

So many of our children have been harmed by domestic, speech-inspired terrorism that it goes without saying that we need common sense speech control to stop the spread of hateful rhetoric. Also, think of how many children we could save if we had common sense 4th amendment restrictions to catch kidnappers and rapists?

What rights are you being asked to give up in the case of common sense regulation of firearms?

"mainstream" ideas like near total gun confiscation and lifetime limit on rounds purchased?

No mainstream ideas like:

-automatic rifle ban
-age limit on gun purchases (21+)
-banning bump stocks
-longer waiting periods and multiple adult vouchers for purchase
-no gun sales to mentally ill/terror watch list/domestic abusers

Honest question: can someone provide me a link to an instance where a licensed responsible gun owner (not police) like many of the posters here claim to be used their gun to prevent a crime?

'-automatic rifle ban' Already exists

'age limit on gun purchases (21+)' Sure but it won't help, if you care.

'banning bump stocks' Sure, but probably won't make a difference, if you care.

'longer waiting periods' Sure, we can put waiting periods on Constitutional rights in the interest of saving lives. Can we talk abortion?

'no gun sales to mentally ill' Already exists

'terror watch list/' Blatant, unconstitutional lack of due process, but okay, I guess you are on the gitmo train now.

'domestic abusers' Already exists

"can someone provide me a link to an instance where a licensed responsible gun owner (not police) like many of the posters here claim to be used their gun to prevent a crime?"

I don't know, maybe check out Alt-Right Nazi Barack Obama's admin's own research on the issue. In the mean time maybe you should reflect on how of the 7 suggestions you have, 3 already are in place (your ignorance), 3 will have no noticeable effect on mass shootings(the vast majority of mass shooters with legal weapons weren't purchased by someone 18-21, weren't purchased within 5 days of the shooting, and didn't use bump stocks) (your stupidity), and one is in line with George Bush on individual rights for suspected terrorists (your authoritarianism). The adults can get back to talking about how to actually prevent this from happening by hardening schools, the only policy possible aside from total confiscation of weapons or 1st amendment restrictions against making school shooters famous to line left-wing media pockets, that will impact school shootings.

Interesting link here, from those commies at CNBC:

Have less of X have less caused by X. Insightful. You know we'd have a lot left ISIS members if we just had common sense restrictions on assault style Muslim extremist YouTube videos. But as a serious rebuttal to your misunderstanding of statistics, please review the fallacy of division.

Here’s hoping that “acting crazy” as a method of political leadership has jumped the shark.

Instead, make sensible proposals about what will prevent school shootings from even starting.

Letting school employees conceal carry so schools are not "gun free" shooting ranges.

Its a sensible proposal that will prevent school shootings from even starting.

Actually that is such a bad idea that it is the number one cause of corporate abandonment of the NRA.

And just wait for the first accidental "desk pop" in a school room.

By the way, it always happens. Even among the sober and elite.

US Airways Pilot's Gun Fires In Cockpit

"Actually that is such a bad idea that it is the number one cause of corporate abandonment of the NRA."

The Arianna Grande > Mozart school of logic.

"acting crazy"=people you don't like.
"sensible proposals"=proposals you like.

I.e., mood affiliation.

>If even a child sees the need to speak out....

Right -- as everyone knows, it's almost impossible to get a teenager ("child"? Really??) to give his opinion on anything, and seek to draw attention to himself. By nature, teens are pensive and reserved and always listen attentively for long periods before speaking.

Jesus, Tyler.

Is there any easier fodder on Earth for statist organizers than teens?

The ones getting positive press on the gun issue are the ones whose position matches the media's. And the fact that they're hard to attack doesn't mean that they're changing people's minds; it just obscures their effect.

The survivors who have spoken out against gun restrictions, by contrast, have been largely ignored. If they ever did start to get traction, I think there'd be little hesitation about attacking them as child soldiers of the NRA.

'The ones getting positive press on the gun issue are the ones whose position matches the media’s.'

You mean the position that students should not be shot in school? Talk about a crazy thing to imagine, at least in the U.S. And something pretty hard to imagine anywhere else. Even in Germany, where several American style school mass shootings have occurred - the last being 9 years ago, though.

You coming along to try to change the subject or muddle the discussion is always a reliable indicator that I've made a good point that's hard to rebut on its merits. Thank you for the compliment.

By the way, you're precisely the troll that I had in mind, who would not scruple for a moment over attacking the character of children if it seemed to serve whatever the political goal of the moment happened to be.

The "Dreamers", most of them aren't really children. Late teens maybe, but primarily they are young adults.
If they were children (say, under the age of 12) there would actually be less of a problem sending them back along with their parents. The problem is when someone has already grown up in the US and is now an adult who has lived here the majority of his conscious life. The dreamers are adults who are functionally American but not legally recognized as American because of technicalities.

The law is a mere technicality? So if I steal your money and manage to evade authorities for a few years then my ill-gotten gains become permanently mine. Fantastic!

The children's political movement in Chile was arguably highly effective: Of course the Chilean youth displayed a level of tenacity and commitment that is unimaginable in the US. As Tyler seems to implicitly suggest though, the more important question may be whether children are able to to aspire beyond run-of-the-mill "Four legs good, two legs bad" progressivism. In Chile, the second election of Bachelet answered that question. Bachelet, like Bernie Sanders, exploited children's naivety, while family members engaged in shady deals. To the extent she succeeded in advancing her progressive agenda, the results were predictable:

If someone is murdered in my next door neighbor's house, am I a survivor?

Because Gonzalez and Hogg, the two leading "survivors" on TV, were not even in the same building on a 42 acre campus.

An actual survivor of the shooting was on Fox correctly blaming the incompetent sheriff and the cowardly deputy. I bet none of the liberals here even know his name.

I think you are missing what is driving this generation. They all practice active shooter drills. They all know that an armed guard, even a brave one, can't be at every gate, in every hall or classroom at the same time.

They KNOW the plan is for a certain number of them to die between when the shooting starts and when it stops, however it stops.

And so they want to concentrate or the start, and preventing it, rather than being gun fodder.

"I think you are missing what is driving this generation."

We only know what is driving 4 or so left wing media approved kids.

"They all know that an armed guard, even a brave one, can’t be at every gate,"

They are wrong.

"And so they want to concentrate or the start, and preventing it, rather than being gun fodder."

When you guys ban the AR15 and there is no reduction in school shootings will you promise to give away all your belongings and walk off into the desert forever?

"give away all your belongings and walk off into the desert forever"

Acting crazy on purpose or accidentally?

My point is that you should have some stake in the bullshit you are pushing. When you guys ban AR15s and school shootings continue apace with other weapons that are just as effective despite your massive ignorance on guns, will you please shut the **** up and quit pretending to have anything to offer to policy debates?

Still crazy. My state has an assault rifle ban, and a path to take guns from troubled people, that Florida lacks.

And everything thing is fine here. In fact, as I mentioned above you can "walk off into the desert" right now and go shooting.

The sky is not falling with sensible gun control. There is no horror that needs to be justified.

I don't even own a gun. So will you take the bet? If we pass a national "assault weapons ban" and it fails to reduce school shooting incidents, will you agree to never talk about politics again, out of sheer embarrassment and shame for your incredible ignorance?

"My state has an assault rifle ban"

Every state has an assault rifle ban, you ignoramus.

Demanding bets with anonymous strangers is not really "less crazy," Thomas.

The data will come out, including as California refines its legal definitions of "assault weapon."

Thomas is ok with a big time tax hike to have armed guards at every gate of every school. He also likes living in that kind of world.

"Thomas is ok with a big time tax hike to have armed guards at every gate of every school."

As an alternative to school shootings, 1st amendment black outs on school shootings (research shows attention inspires future shooters), or the confiscation of hundreds of millions of weapons? Uh, yeah, I do.

"He also likes living in that kind of world."

I see David "The NRA doesn't care about dead children" Hogg has been rubbing off all over you.

The solution to gun violence is MOAR GUNS. What a world.

I look forward to Thomas reminding us that we need higher taxes from here on out.

You didn’t respond because you aren’t capable. You can harden schools without adding guns. You keep arguing from pure ignorance. Kids will keep dying but you’ll feel good and that’s what counts to people like you. Sad.

"hardening schools" sounds like a dystopia to me, but if you really believe it, don't just trot it out as deflection at the end of a thread.

Call for guards and metal detectors at every entrance, like at a courthouse or airport, and call for taxes to pay for it.

It will still be a dystopia, but you will be consistent.

I keep asking, what is the alternative to hardening schools, which isn't mass confiscation of hundreds of millions of guns. No one can answer (although msgkings tried and failed), maybe because there isn't an answer.

It still doesn't make her much of a "survivor."

And the students are just parroting the conventional wisdom of the chattering classes being fed to them by the usual suspects .

Asking school shooting survivors about school shootings is like asking recently lottery winners about playing the lottery. Chances are that their view is a bit distorted.

We should instead be asking the opinions of teens on social security and medicare after explaining how badly they will be screwed by those programs.

Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?

If # of Twitter followers is indicative of seriousness & support, Kim Kardashian should be President, right?

Of is it just a celebration of a successful propaganda campaign? Sheesh!

It would be an uptick.

Our corrupt and corrupting Media Establishment tells the tales it prefers to tell, with assistance from teens with fresh visceral responses propelling their media appearances and lachrymose television hosts who simply can't bear to simply wear their emotions on their sleeves in pursuit of coveted ratings.

Perhaps all the school shootings of the past twenty years--from Columbine through Sandy Hook to Parkland--were all emotionally-condensed protests against the perniciousness of American public education foisted by our remote and effete elites.

Classy. Hey Sandy Hook parent, your first grader died in terror because, um, public schools are bad or girly or something.

Public schools across most of the US have been failing to confer basic literacy and basic numeracy for longer than either Tyler or Alex are able to report, chiefly because our corrupt and corrupting Media Establishment and our corrupted Academic Establishment are pleased NOT to report the distressing news of the manifest failures of public education (which seems to only further serve the interests of our remote and effete elites).

Public education has been woefully dysfunctional for decades, failing to deliver or impose advertised social panaceas just as it has failed institutionally to impart the foundations of basic literacy and basic numeracy: how could the systemic dysfunctionality fail to result in at least a few notable acts of adolescent rage?

Classier. Double down!

Glib (mis-)characterizations do not an argument make, neither the first time nor the second time.

I'm not making an argument, just highlighting that you're an asshole, and not very bright.

The "emotional intelligence" (cf. Harvard genius Howard Gardner's illuminating accounts) you model in gratuitously posting assessments of persons you do not know might bespeak an intellectual attainment that any number of four-year-olds might envy.

--or you may be suffering, as do so many of our cognitive elites, from constipation of the soul.

In either case: seek professional help ASAP.

Last word freak too.

Tyler makes some cogent points in his column. This is a complex political subject, however, it feels likely that the paradigm will shift more towards the gun control side. If not now, then in the next decade or so.

Also, the comments in this thread, are for the most part, abysmal. I see emotions on both sides completely clouding any rational judgement.

Welcome to anonymous internet comment sections in gun related posts in America! The bullshit is cheap and plentiful!

+1, definitely one of those topics that riles up the internet warriors on both sides.

Interesting to watch the usual gun nuts here really squirming wildly and becoming full out irrational in their hysterical lies. Yes, Subtlety and Butcher, I am talking about you two in particular. Your gang is in deep doo doo, and it is almost funny to watch you guys just lose it and make such utter fools of yourselves. Have you all wet your pants yet?

Hear, hear! And "almost funny" indeed.

For anyone keeping notes, JMU has an armed security force to keep Barkley safe. He opposes a similar security force to keep kids safe. He prefers to use the deaths of these kids to confiscate the type of rifles prized by the young, southern guys in lifted trucks who can be seen every Friday and Saturday night picking up the young women from JMU with dubious intent.

This entire thing is a godsend to Republican officeholders in traditionally exurban and small city dominated marginal districts. We were expecting low GOP turnout but now what we have is a crusade. Watching John Tester this past week has been painful. Steve Bullock, D gov of MT, is so happy he is not up this year that he is giddy. I actually feel bad for Heidi Heitkamp.

Suppose high school students started an anti-abortion movement -- how far would THAT get on CNN?

At any rate, I'm not impressed by young people demanding adults give up guns or cars or anything else, when these kids would be hard-pressed to even give up their phones.

Handguns by the way are by far responsible for the most homicides, with knives and even bare hands easily outdoing long guns as the weapon of choice. So you do have to wonder, why the supersized hysteria over "assault rifles?"

Because leftists are primarily motivated by emotion and black rifles that look military style are scary. Just look at the intentional misuse of language. Just today an NPR host said that no one would want to use a hand gun against a semi-automatic weapon. Handguns are semi-automatic weapons. The guest to whom she was speaking was a senator from Connecticut and he said we need to ban automatic weapons. Automatic weapons are banned. David Hogg says we need to ban assault rifles. Assault rifles are banned. When you point this out to these people, they'll respond with semantics aren't important. If semantics weren't important they wouldn't insist on using terms that aren't true.

They use these dishonest terms intentionally to convince the public that what they see in movies, which are actual automatic rifles, are legal. They need this because if you show a wood and metal rifle with a detachable 10 round magazine and a scope, the general public wouldn't consider that a target of common sense gun reform. They need to be dishonest generally because they want the public to focus on rifles which are overwhelmingly owned by Republicans and involved in a tiny minority of gun crimes and ignore handguns which are overwhelmingly used in gun crimes and Democrat own cities by Democrat voting demographics.

This is why I criticize the people in this thread who have supported these common sense gun regulations. Virginia Tech was perpetrated with multiple handguns. Columbine was perpetrated with handgun shotguns and rifles. The Democrat who tried to assassinate the Republican house leadership with an AR-15 with stopped by armed security with a handgun. The idea that banning weapons based on cosmetic features as in the 1994 assault weapons will reduce school shootings is absurd. The idea that even banning all semi-automatic rifles which requires the total dishonesty of the media and the Democrat Party would reduce school shootings is absurd. The idea that these people care about gun deaths when they focus on the smallest minority of gun crime that coincidentally impacts Republicans the most is laughable.

Because long guns are what school shooters use. It's in the news again and people want it to stop happening. We aren't going to ban all guns, and most guns have legitimate reasons for individual civilians to own them. Rapid fire weapons should be banned for private ownership, if you need to fire one go to a shooting range.

1. "Because long guns are what school shooters use."

2. "Rapid fire weapons should be banned for private ownership"

claim: "We aren’t going to ban all guns""

By standard #2 we will ban all semi-automatic guns and most revolvers, leaving only weapons like pump-action shotguns, breach loaded rifles, muskets, etc. That is, I guess, until school shooters start using pump-action shotguns, then we'll have to ban those by standard #1 I guess your claim is technically correct in that you won't ban every single gun that exists, just most of them, just hundreds of millions of them.

Thomas, it's hard to take you seriously when every moderate overture about gun regulation (but not banning) is met with snarky bullshit. Your kind, and the other hysterical kind on the left that wants to ban all guns, are making the problem worse. Either contribute like a grownup or find something else to be useless about.

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