Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Saturday, February 17, 2018

High School Students Are Making Me Hopey Changey About Guns For The First Time In My Life


Anonymous said...

This is all good and fine that students have the courage to speak for themselves. Problem is that the existing gun control laws, and most probably any new ones, will not make any difference. What good would more gun control laws do when the FBI would ignore every reported violation of them anyhow? Not only that, but police were called out to Cruz's house THIRTY-NINE times. So let's not pretend that the politicians are going to do one single thing to stop a messed-up lunatic like that, whether there was one more law or one hundred more laws on the books.
The police are not about protection or prevention. They are merely there to clean up after the fact and make the community feel as if the authorities are doing something. I'm sorry to say that getting rid of guns is like trying to uninvent the atomic bomb. Besides, my relative works for a government sponsored company that has been developing a devastating hand held high speed mini rail gun that will obsolete conventional firearms. The building plans will probably show up some day on the internet. Unfortunately, people will always kill people. It's times like this that I become religious or wish for friendly aliens to visit us. Anyway, I actually do have hope for a real solution to this carnage.

Dale Carrico said...

Why try to do anything to solve anything when there will always be other things to solve as well? Why try anything when future-tech changes are sure always only to make everything worse? Why try to effect political change when the "politicians" (a blanket condemnation in which differences between party platforms and individual voting records vanish from consideration) are all corrupt and bigoted and authoritarian? Why try to make laws better or solve shared problems through recourse to law when no law makes any difference for the better or even a hundred good laws in your cynical declaration? Altogether beyond laws are we, there? My, how radical it is! I certainly and emphatically agree with your observation that reforms to demand police accountability, independent review of misconduct, de-militarization, violence de-escalation, ending profiling, encourage community involvement, eliminate school-to-prison pipelines, shift to harm reduction over punitive policy models, and finally abolish prisons altogether as a social response to "criminality" are absolutely necessary and part of the larger, simultaneous work to address the clearly understood problem of gun violence in this country (as almost nowhere comparable in the world) -- but it isn't clear to me why your critique wouldn't apply exactly equally to every effort anybody organized to address any of these problems in a campaign of educational or legislative change-making, civil resistance, or other form of agitation in the real world as it is in the time it would actually take. There is always more than one thing going on, every struggle connects to other struggles, diverse stakeholders have interlocking but competing ends. You declare at the end of your comment that you still have hope for a real solution, but you do not say what it is or where this hope comes from -- apart from hoping for religious deliverance or a benign alien invasion. I understand where you are coming from, I have struggled with hopelessness for well over a year, sometimes this has been a truly bleak and brutal and obliterative time. But do not doubt the power of interested and organized people to make a difference through sustained critique, creative expression, critical engagement, responsible deliberation, public assembly and protest, honest education, sustained agitation, and intelligent recourse to the franchise and the most progressive but still viable partisan instruments on hand (here in the US for now, that means supporting the Democratic Party, compromised and dysfunctional and infuriating though it usually is, and any pretense that the parties are the same or equally useless or any of that nonsense at a time of danger like this immediately disqualifies any would-be interlocutor from serious consideration as a reliable ally, a real as against cabaret radical, or anything but a troll, really). Change for the better has happened, it takes a lot of committed people and a lot of sustained effort and a capacity to keep your bearings and ideals even as you compromise and opportunistically navigate real-world real-time exigencies. I see a lot of hope in the fact that queer folks are not retreating, that Dreamers and people with disabilities are assembling and protesting in public for their lives, that indigenous people are organizing against pipelines and activists demanding divestment, that generations of harassment norms in this rape culture are feeling some pressure at last, that Black Lives Matter and Moral Mondays are still growing and persisting, that young people are taking to the streets to demand futures not foreclosed by a shower of bullets... Nothing is enough on its own, but do not refuse to see the potential for change in all this righteous courageous ferment, do not listen to the voice that denies or derides or diminishes the change afoot. Join in the work, get off the sidelines, help somebody out, be a better citizen, protest, organize, create change. Good luck to you.