Schwab: The kids are all right and know the Constitution

Unlike for their detractors, the Constitution and poll numbers are on the side of the marchers.

By Sid Schwab

That reactions from Ammo-Americans to the March for Our Lives would be fast and furious was predictable. Less so was how dumb, distasteful and desperate those reactions were.

The guerdon for dumbness goes to Rick “Don’t Google me surname, bro” Santorum, who, after sneering that the kids were asking “others” to solve their problems (it’d take more than one column to unpack that lunacy), suggested learning CPR would be a better use of their time. As an experienced trauma surgeon, let me point out that CPR is for cardiac arrest. If your heart stops after being shot, it’s because you’ve bled out (or because your brain died). Attempting to revive an empty heart or a dead brain with chest compression is useless. (Somewhere in there is a metaphor for our times.) It’d have been more fitting had he suggested embalming.

An NRA spokesdunce dismissed the children by pointing out that no one would even know their names if their classmates hadn’t died. Right. And a firefighter who rescued a family from a burning building wouldn’t be considered a hero if it hadn’t been on fire.

Aptly dubbed a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like, Newt Gingrich declared the most salient takeaway from the march is to learn who paid for it. The left can’t govern, he said, but they sure can organize marches. (The simpering “can’t govern” would need a five-column response.) He chose not to mention that the tea party movement was birthed on Wall Street, disguised as grass-roots, and underwritten by anti-tax billionaires. Of course people gave money to the marchers and to their cause! In what way is that inconsistent with democracy? How does it devalue the message, which, in contrast to the tea party, began at the bottom and worked its way up?

As expected, there were those who called the students Nazis. Or Communists (C’mon, people, read some political science. Make a decision.) Blameless pundits denounced “politicization.” Well, yes, demanding legislative action is “political.” So is demanding no action. Stop badmouthing the NRA, they were warned. Then, because it’s become the preferred method of discourse by a certain stratum of Trumpists, there were death threats. And we heard condescending assertions that the students need to read the Constitution. But, in fact, it seems they have. Which brings us to the heart of it.

First, some facts:

Barely over 20 percent of Americans own guns. Nearly half are in the hands of only 3 percent of us. (The Trace: tinyurl.com/half-2-3) The vast majority of Americans (including NRA members) favor the regulations advocated by the March for Our Lives students. There’s near unanimous approval for stronger background checks, with almost as much support for preventing dangerous people from acquiring guns, and for raising the age of purchase. By electoral standards, it’s even a landslide for banning military-style weapons. (Fox News: tinyurl.com/even-fox-poll)

Here’s another fact, one that our friends of Foxotrumpian persuasion have come strenuously to renounce: We live in a democracy. Those poll numbers speak loudly of a failed one. Ignoring the incontestable will of the people it represents, Congress kowtows to the payola provided by the NRA and gun manufacturers, and to their gerrymandered, rabid, minority base.

It’s worth recalling that until recently it was settled law that the Second Amendment didn’t confer absolute rights of gun ownership to private citizens. Ignored by Cammo-Americans and NRA spokeshorribles is that Scalia’s ruling allowed for regulation, including concealed carry, safe-zones, and military-style weapons. What’s being demanded is already constitutional. (Esquire: tinyurl.com/said-scalia)

The kids understand our Constitution. They know it’s within our power to restore truly representative democracy by electing a new, responsive Congress. Behind the heated, dishonest, dangerous rhetoric of right-wing derogation of the marchers is the same realization, and they’re desperately resisting. But demographics don’t care. They ain’t going back.

End times are approaching for Regressive, White, Male, Theocratic, political dominion. Among right-wing shibboleths destined for eventual rejection is the fetishizing of guns; understanding the Constitution means recognizing the possibility of repealing or revising the Second Amendment. The marchers do. RWMT politicians do, too. If they’re unable to legislate away fair elections before change arrives, they, like Saddam burning his oil fields when he knew he’d lost, seem intent on trashing the place on their way out.

Which also explains their eagerness to boost pollution, reduce health care access, and crush the dreams of the poor.

Email Sid Schwab at columnsid@gmail.com.

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