Lance Scranton: March for a reason
Maybe it’s because I make my living teaching young kids or because I’m a father or just because I have a tendency to exercise common sense, but when I watch and read about kids marching to support increased gun control measures, I’m a bit skeptical. A generation that listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings is ripe for being taken advantage of by those who might wish to placate their passionate concern about school violence with something a bit more fiendish.
Marching and protesting against school violence is a good and righteous cause that should be seriously considered by those who are in positions of power. However, watching children make emotional pleas to emotional protesters, who are given permission to lecture adults about the failure of a system designed to provide for them a free and appropriate education smacks of the kind of stuff you read about in some Dystopian novel like “1984.”
America certainly has its share of problems and issues that we aren’t afraid to confront and discuss, but the rationality of the argument must be the prime mover, or you end up with some really bad decisions being made to appease the emotional hordes.
Gun violence is a relatively new term which has been coined by those who oppose the idea that most types of guns can serve any other purpose than to kill and inflict harm on innocent people. This, of course, is a contradictory premise that can be easily dismissed if it weren’t for the voices of our most innocent loudly deconstructing any logical discussion about guns in a civil society, second amendment guarantees, and the idea of a coercive government not being allowed to infringe rights away from its citizenry.
We can agree to disagree about certain rights and privileges our Constitution affords us as people living in a free society, but foundational certainties that are wrestled away from its people generally turn out to be a bad idea. Prohibition was going to, once and for all, put to rest the issues and problems in our society associated with alcohol. How did that work out? Alcohol kills many more people in our country than guns ever will and I haven’t seen a march for prohibition lately.
The point of a rational discussion is to try and have a free exchange of ideas, make points that are debatable, listen with an open mind, visit examples from history that inform our present situation and make our way forward by considering the likely consequences of our demands. In my estimation; the marches that took place this past weekend were not about life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness, but about young people asking our government to exercise more coercive control over the free exercise of our rights and the important responsibilities contained within our privileged society.
Perhaps a march for being more responsible, or one for treating others better, or one for keeping families together, or one for parents getting more involved in their child’s education?
Don’t hold your breath.