Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Conservatives Respond to Gun Violence Activism

If you're active on Facebook and Twitter, you might be seeing some posts about a campaign called "Walk Up Not Out."

Here's some background, via an article about it:
"Walk Up Not Out proponents say students should try harder to reach out with friendliness and compassion to their more solitary peers. By moving out of their comfort zones and helping their peers feel more welcome, the theory goes, students could potentially head off angry impulses or an outbreak of violence."
This article further notes that the campaign is being promoted by conservatives and others against gun control, which corresponds with my experience.

Let me tell you.

As a national movement against gun violence takes shape, the following responses have been f-a-s-c-i-n-a-t-i-n-g to watch:

(a) I've seen a correlation between people who support Trump and people who support Walk Up Not Out.

While I support an authentic anti-bullying program, I believe folks have lost moral authority on the matter of bullying if they've supported a predatory, serial social media bully for president and have largely reveled in "libtard snowflake tears" since the 2016 election.

Yet, even for those Walk-Uppers who aren't themselves bullies, the entire premise of the campaign itself is both a false dichotomy and a gross victim blaming. We can advocate for love and respect in our schools while also advocating for peaceful protests and gun control.

(b) Some anti-gun-control folks seem to loathe the kids leading the March for Our Lives movement. But also, so do many anti-choicers (and there seems to be a lot of overlap within these categories).

Rod Dreher, for instance, the anti-choice conservative Christian who regularly rages against the scourge of "transgenders" and political correctness in society, calls David Hogg "a disgusting little creep" whose harsh rhetoric supposedly ruined Dreher's chance of ever supporting the March for Our Lives movement.

In a later post, Dreher mocks Hogg for not having a completely-detailed policy proposal on the table.

As a reminder, it as been approximately six weeks since a shooter killed 17 of Hogg's classmates. in light of that, he might be experiencing a fair amount of PTSD. I, for one, don't expect high schoolers, let alone those who have just experienced a major traumatic event, to have comprehensive policy proposals developed with respect to school shootings.

What I do find compelling, however, is the position, "I don't want to be murdered while going to school." That, I believe, is a pretty solid starting point for the conversation, particularly given that most previous attempts to even broach the conversation are met with "pleas" to "not politicize" the various shootings that have occurred in US history. It is the job of adults to work with youth to seriously address this issue. The youth are neither going to be our big saviors nor should they be 100% dismissed just because they're kids.

Unfortunately, we've been treated to a plethora of articles from the right, bleeding into the mainstream, wherein kids are absolutely loathed for, supposedly, being hyper-politically-correct snowflakes. It's hard not to view these grotesque attacks on the March for Our Lives youth as an extension of this larger attack on youth and, more generally, treating people with respect.

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