The Trickle Down is Salute Magazine‘s weekly column by Political Writer Amanda Godula. The Trickle Down is a weekly look into what’s need-to-know, fresh takes on trends, and the inevitable controversies from the political arena. Let’s dig in and see what’s happening this week.
Will the march lead to listening to youth?
“To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun.”
This is the famous narrative the National Rifle Association’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre, said after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary and again during the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. This narrative began changing America’s view on arming teachers and protecting our schools. Protecting kids by adding more firepower began to dominate the conversation.
And then the March for Our Lives happened. A march organized by the victims of the shootings of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in only 5 weeks. A march organized by youth pushing back on the NRA narrative of more guns.
“One of the things we’ve been hearing is that it’s not the time yet to talk about gun control,” Marjorie Stoneman Douglas junior Cameron Kasky said. “So here’s the time that we’re going to talk about gun control: March 24.”
The march was expertly designed with clearly defined speaking points: background checks, digitizing the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms database, funding the Center for Disease Control to research gun violence, and banning high-capacity magazines and assault weapons.
Yet, there are advocates of arming teachers. Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott pushes the “school marshals” program which designates some teachers as armed carriers. More recently, Kansas is considering a bill to hold schools liable in the event of a school shooting and no armed teachers are present.
The idea of protecting students and schools is not unique to these states. A large portion of teachers have safety concerns. A March 2018 Gallup poll showed that 40% of teachers don’t think their school is well protected. But, other polls show that teachers don’t see guns as the solution. Another Gallup poll shows 73% of teachers oppose arming schools. More data shows that teachers prioritize gun control as a means for safety.
These “kids” are showing that adults are failing their generation and need them to listen. They have been failed, time and time again, by politicians and flawed policies. They haven’t listened to their concerns, fears, and needs. So they organized.
The March for Our Lives showed that youth is not apathetic. They are mad they are being ignored. Are the politicians listening now?