Local Commentary

Editorial: Our Young Will Lead Us

Yesterday, on the one-month anniversary of the Valentine’s Day murderous rampage at a Florida high school by a deranged person with a military-grade weapon, hundreds of students from Falls Church’s George Mason High School and Henderson Middle School poured out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. in solidarity with thousands of their peers from all across the U.S. The purpose of the action was to remember the 17 students gunned down at the Parkland, Florida, school and to protest the inaction on gun control by elected officials under the sway of the National Rifle Association.

The NRA’s insistence on not giving an inch on gun control, to demand that maintaining existing laws on 18 year olds having free access to weapons of war despite the civilian and student bloodbaths they cause, may continue to paralyze elected officials fearful of losing its support. We’ve come to hail the billboard campaign across the U.S. calling the NRA a “terrorist organization,” and are even closer to considering that true evil is, indeed, a force at loose in our society with an uncommon grip on pro-gun legislators and so-called religious leaders, alike.

Perhaps it is in the context of these almost cosmic proportions that we, as a people, look to our young, to those whose minds have not been clouded by years of fear and compromise, who have a seemingly uncanny clarity of vision to see the wanton evil and profound wrong behind the siren songs of the NRA and its religious and political apologists at loose in our culture now.

Are those sadly corrupted adults almost hoping to be delivered from their misery? This may explain their stubborn insistence on inaction. Any hope they may have trying to wait out the latest uprising among our young until it dies down seems utterly futile. Three million young Americans are turning 18 this year, turning old enough to vote in this November’s midterm elections, and they are not intimidated by the NRA the way so many of their compromised elders are.

As pro-gun politicians and their ilk turn to attacking these young people with uncouth and crude types of personal attacks, the more are they writing their political death warrants. The students’ demands are so basic to what every American should support – the freedom to attend school, or walk anywhere in public, without the worry of another heinous, murderous rampage – that those who ridicule or denigrate them face their own foul sewage being thrust right back onto themselves.

The NRA and its quivering political supporters are totally out of touch with reality now. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s pathetic excuse for why his party lost a special election in a very pro-GOP district in Pennsylvania Tuesday belies an astonishing depth of self-delusion. The remedy is a tsunami of women, young and minority voters, and their allies, that will sweep this foul corruption out of our political life for generations.