Back during the 13th century with all the Crusade mania…..there was one that was termed the Children’s Crusade…..
Children’s Crusade was a popular religious movement in Europe during the summer of 1212 in which thousands of young people took Crusading vows and set out to recover Jerusalem from the Muslims. Lasting only from May to September, the Children’s Crusade lacked official sanction and ended in failure; none of the participants reached the Holy Land. Nevertheless, the religious fervour it excited helped to initiate the Fifth Crusade (1218). It was arguably the first European youth movement.
I bring up this piece of history (you just knew that I would find a way to inject some history, right?) because the students that survived the latest mass shooting are planning a march on DC next month…..yhry are on a “crusade”……..
Five students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, made their way through all the major morning talks shows Sunday, appearing on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and CNN. They announced nationwide marches for gun control next month and ripped politicians, including President Donald Trump, who benefit from the National Rifle Association’s political spending while refusing to act to strengthen gun laws.
“Now is the time to get on the right side of this,” Emma Gonzalez, one of the students, said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “Because this is not something we are going to be let [you] sweep under the carpet.” Gonzalez said she was speaking directly to Trump, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R), and other lawmakers who have benefited from pro-gun money.
Will this youth movement last?
The movement of young people demanding tougher gun laws after last week’s shooting in Florida arrived at the White House Monday, where teens staged a “lie-in” to represent those shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, reports NBC4 Washington. “It’s really important to express our anger,” says a 16-year-old participant from Alexandria, Va. “Every day when I say bye to my parents, I do acknowledge the fact that I could never see my parents again.” Here’s a closer look at the movement—this speech by student Emma Gonzalez went viral over the weekend—and some analysis on why it may not be dissipating any time soon:
- Three national protests:Fortune rounds up future protest plans, including student walkouts planned for March.
- Post-Columbine: In the Washington Post, Philip Bump notes that today’s high school students have never known a world where school shootings didn’t exist, and that these survivors are different from those at Columbine, Newtown, and Virginia Tech. “This is the first premeditated mass shooting at this scale that involved people who both grew up entirely in a world in which mass shootings were common and which targeted people old enough to have a voice.”
- Rebuke to left and right: The wave of student activism is “remarkable,” writes Alex MacGillis at ProPublica, who sees it as a rebuke not just to conservatives who oppose gun reform but to those on the left who have cynically declared that nothing will ever change and given up the fight.
- Feels different: Yes, passionate voices have emerged after previous mass shootings, but this “feels different,” writes Benjamin Hart at New York. “The preternatural poise of the students in the killings’ aftermath made it feel almost as though they had been anticipating the tragedy—which, in a society where mass-shooting drills at schools have become a fact of life, may not too be far off.”
- Let them vote: University of Kentucky College of Law professor Joshua Douglas makes the case that 16-year-olds should be allowed to vote. The teens in Florida witnessed horrors and are now pushing for safer schools. “We should include them more directly in our democratic process,” he writes at CNN.
- Not in vain: In a New York Times op-ed, 15-year-old Christine Yared, a student at Marjory Stoneman, writes that her friend Gina was killed and that her death should not be in vain. Among the tougher laws she wants: “If a person is not old enough to be able to rent a car or buy a beer, then he should not be able to legally purchase a weapon of mass destruction.”
- Trump’s role: President Trump will meet with high school students for a “listening session” on Wednesday and host a similar forum the following day, reports the Hill. However, the president has been taking criticism from the Parkland students, with 17-year-old David Hogg calling him out on Sunday for faulting the FBI as too focused on the Russia investigation to stop the shooter. “You’re the president,” said Hogg on Meet the Press. “You’re supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us,” per the LA Times.
Just like the children of 700 years ago the modern day equivalent sees their duty clearly. In history the children marched off to war and the present day warriors are doing the same….they are doing wht adults are not capable of doing……
These kids will probably get more traction than their politician counterparts because the kids have no one to answer to but their generation. They do not fear retaliation by the NRA because they are not owned by the group.
Will today’s children be successful?
In changing policy probably not….but they will make sure that there is lots of coverage which will make the debate more likely than if they did nothing.
My hat is off to these children and I wish them luck….they will need it…..I am waiting to see if the FOX will attack these children…..keep in mind that in the 70’s student movement that made the difference.
“Don’t mourn, Organize!”