What This March Is Really About

The March for Our Lives movement is one of the most inspirational things I’ve seen in my life. I browse news for a living. I don’t feel stories. I can’t afford to. But I’ve been feeling this story since the moment, a few weeks ago, when we saw Emma Gonzalez become a political icon in real time.

The march really started back then and it keeps getting bigger. That’s why I think it’s important to acknowledge what they’re marching about. Of course, sparked by the student survivors of the Parkland tragedy, it’s about guns. But it’s not just about guns.

We’ve had school shootings before at moments when our gun laws were equally preposterous. But we didn’t have this response. We didn’t have this movement.

So what makes this moment different from the others?

The same thing that makes everything about America different.

This march — and this moment — is about guns, yes. But it’s also about Donald Trump.

Go back to that first Emma Gonzalez speech. Her most important line was “We Call BS!” Of course that refrain would be the cry of the next generation. They have come of political-age in an era when BS is being flung at them non-stop. It’s unprecedented and it’s unavoidable.

And the call of the march? Enough is Enough. How many times have you said that to yourself over the past fifteen months?

Their parents can keep reminding themselves that This Is Not Normal. But for teenagers, this was the first presidential election they ever really focused on. The non-stop lying is all they’ve ever known.

So, to them, this is normal.

This march — its energy, its beauty, its rage, its grief — is about guns, but it’s also a justified rebellion against the era in which America’s youth are entering adulthood.

And that’s why this march is at least in part a rebellion about us — and this terrible mess we’ve left them in.

Dave Pell Writes NextDraft



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Dave Pell

I write NextDraft, a quick and entertaining look at the day’s most fascinating news.