Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, February 24, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, February 24, 2018 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, February 24, 2018 OPINION 
Mountain Views 
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Integrity will be our guide. 
In the wake of last week’s mass shooting in Parkland, Florida,
new heroes have emerged. They are the young men and womenwho survived and have made their horrifying experience adefining moment in the lives of all Americans. 
The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are demonstrating morecommitment than their government when it comes to putting an end to unregulatedaccess to weapons of mass destruction, which is exactly what AR-15s and similar,
modified semi-automatic firearms are. 
Young people are mobilizing in a way not seen since the Vietnam War. They believethat lives are at stake, and unresponsive leaders - fueled by special interest campaigncontributions - are thwarting any effort to do something about gun violence. 
Florence Yared, a 17-year-old survivor of the shooting, spoke at a protest inTallahassee this week. Addressing members of Congress, she said, “You are directlyresponsible for every community that has lost people to gun violence, and you have thepower to change this. If you don’t, then we will change you.” 
That has become a rallying cry among many in Florida where, on Tuesday, less thana week after the massacre, state legislators voted down an attempt to revive a ban onassault weapons, much to the horror of many of the young survivors.
Their senator, Marco Rubio, has said that most of the tougher gun restrictions beingproposed wouldn’t have prevented the slaughter at Stoneman Douglas. The responseof many Floridans? They flew a banner along the coastline proclaiming “Shame on youMarco Rubio and NRA.” 
Last month, the president urged Florida Governor Rick Scott to run for the U.S.
Senate, saying “We need business guys like you.” The implication being that “businessguys” make for strong, decisive leaders. Yet, when asked about gun control and a banon assault weapons, Gov. Scott chose to point a finger and place blame squarely on theshoulders of the FBI. Gov. Scott can personally move gun control legislation forward,
but takes no responsibility and shows no leadership. He has, however, earned an A-plusrating from the NRA.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez said, “These peoplewho are being funded by the NRA are not going to be allowed to remain in office whenmidterm elections roll around.” 
If more articulate young people like Ms. Gonzalez and fellow student David Hogg(who right-wing media has shamelessly branded a “crisis actor”) step forward,
unresponsive politicians from both parties will be voted out of their jobs.
Young people are speaking up all over the country. Many of them will be at the pollsfor the first time, in November, exercising their right and their ability to bring aboutreal change when it comes to gun control and who represents them.
Many of their peers, however, are NRA members. They will fight for their beliefs aswell, and continue funding that lobby in the future. Rather than do battle, both sidesmust come together. Their elders clearly cannot address the issue of guns and gunviolence reasonably, nor are they willing to turn their backs on, or close their purses to,
one of the most powerful group of lobbyists in America. Perhaps these boys and girlson the threshold of adulthood will succeed in a way we “grown-ups” have failed them.
Their voices will not be silenced, nor will their attempts to bring reason to the issue ofgun violence be thwarted.
The Vietnam era saw the emergence of political activism among the nation’s young.
In time, many members of their parents’ generation marched beside them, hopefulthat together they might unify our country.
Today, we stand on a precipice. We can look out and see a brighter, safer future onthe horizon - a future without weapons of war on our streets. Or we can continueforward, leading our children by the hand as we step into the abyss.
Fortunately for all Americans, the courage and political might being displayed bytoday’s young men and women bodes well for a more enlightened time in decades tocome. A new spirit of hope has arisen. 
Blair Bess is a Los Angeles-based television writer, producer, and columnist. He edits theonline blog, and can be reached at 


In the aftermath of a horrific school shooting last week in Parkland,
Florida, something at once sad, hopeful, and quintessentiallyNOT GUN CONTROL 
American took shape after the tragedy: citizens, moved to action

We live in a country where liberals are constantly working to get rid of

by a wrong they saw and experienced firsthand in their society,

things that were once sacred to America.

were catapulted onto the national stage as they decided to take

They’ve taken God out of our public schools.

action by demanding change from their elected lawmakers.

They’ve politicized and disrespected our national anthem.

That’s what most of the country saw when many of the teenagers who survived a

Now, exploiting a tragic school shooting in Florida, they’re aiming to

horrendous mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School - one that

get rid of our guns.

claimed the lives of 17 of their classmates and teachers - began mobilizing in support of

Liberals think turning America into a gun-free zone will make our schools safe and stop sick

sensible gun control laws.

young men from going on bloody killing sprees like the one in Parkland.

A few on the fringes of the far right, however, suspected something far more

The clamor for stricter gun control by the mainstream media and leading Democrats like

insidious. To them, it was inconceivable that children who had spent hours huddled

Pelosi and Schumer is as simplistic as it was predictable.

in closets texting goodbyes to their friends, siblings, and parents could be moved to

But it’s not the guns, stupids.

political action; instead they feared that the all-knowing, all-seeing shadowy Left at

It’s not what a disturbed 19-year-old boy has in his hands that makes him kill.

work, working to mobilize or even entirely fabricate these survivors’ stories to dark

It’s what he does not have in his heart - love. 

political ends.

I don’t want to sound like a bleeding heart who thinks the Parkland shooter is a victim of

On the relatively more polite end of the spectrum were commentators like CNN’s

society or is not totally responsible for his horrible crime.

Jack Kingston, a man once deigned qualified to represent a portion of Georgia in the

But I haven’t seen any evidence yet that he had anyone who loved him or truly cared about

U.S. House of Representatives. Kingston rushed to accuse the youthful activists of being
him after his adoptive mother died last year.

co-opted by pushers of a George Soros-funded, anti-gun agenda. In his mind, the pain

Like other mass shooters, he was an outcast, a clearly troubled, angry and strange kid with

of losing members of their community was, apparently, not a sufficiently motivating

serious behavioral and emotional issues. 

force for speaking out in the media and pushing for a nationwide march in favor of

He had been kicked out of high school and never got the mental health help everyone who

any sort of gun regulation; all his subsequent faux-concerned commentary focused on

knew him knew he badly needed.

how terrible it was that the radical liberals would use these children in service of their 

Adults failed him. But so did his peers.

nefarious, anti-Second Amendment crusade. 

I wonder how many of the 3,000 kids in his school embraced him or consoled him after he

Sickening as it may be, however, this wasn’t the worst behavior on display. Conspiracy

lost his mother. 

theorists immediately screeched that the whole Parkland tragedy was yet another ‘false

How many of his well-to-do suburban classmates from good families - or his teachers 

flag’ incident designed by the Democrats to seize the weapons of law-abiding patriots.

showed him they really cared about his loss or tried to help him get through it?

Viral videos and lengthy “reports,” to use the term very loosely, insisted that particular

Not many, I bet.

Parkland students were not terrorized high school students, but in fact “crisis actors,” 

High school can be a nasty social and psychological experience, even for the most popular

bounced from tragedy to tragedy (funded by Fake News CNN or, again, Soros) to


perpetually play the victim of fabricated tragedies. One shortsighted would-be sleuth

Kids who are different, shy, poor, not-so-bright, adopted or simply deemed to be not “cool”

eagerly tweeted a picture of a student’s yearbook photo, insisting it belonged to an

entirely different high school archive - despite a student on the same page literallyenough by the jocks, cheerleaders and leaders of the other cliques have it extra tough.
Too often they are bullied, shunned, teased and - in very rare cases - transformed into angry

wearing a Douglas High t-shirt.


To be sure, the entirety of the conservative movement did not react in such an

abhorrent fashion. Many Republican lawmakers stayed stoically silent or offered theirWhen I went to school in the 1950s and the other kids found out I was adopted, I was teasedunmercifully.

thoughts and prayers. But when push came to shove last Tuesday, the GOP-controlled

Being teased about being adopted, about being illegitimate, about being discarded by my real

Florida House of Representatives failed to even consider a bill that would ban the
sale of assault weapons. Their intransigence aside, it seems apparent that America’sparents, hurt me. It also made me a very angry kid.

But it never made me want to slaughter my classmates with the rifle my father gave me and

longstanding gun debate has been slightly reframed, between those who are willing to

taught me how to shoot when I was 10.

take the passion of these young people seriously - and those who choose to dismiss their
agency, discount their authenticity, or otherwise still refuse take action to address their Times and America have changed and there’s no going back to the 1950s.

But school kids today can be just as cruel to each other inside their intense and closed social

As this new phase of the national conversation develops, Democrats and others onbubble. 
the politically organized left would do well not to give credence to the criticism of thoseI think the problem is actually worse now because we have a whole generation of kids who’ve

grown up not hearing things like The Rev. Billy Graham’s powerful message of love.

like Kingston. These kids should be supported every step of the way as they come into

their own as activists, commentators, and forces for good - but never used in service ofThe great evangelist and global crusader for Christ, who died this week, always ended hisviews or goals that are not their own. The conspiracy theorists, for their part, should besermons with “You don’t have to listen to me today. But just remember one thing - God lovesyou.”

lambasted and debased as the half-witted, uncompassionate bottom-feeders that they
are. They must be chased from the airwaves, the trending charts, and even the halls ofToo many kids today are growing up not knowing they are loved by God or anyone else.

Congress back into their caves through the unrepentant, full-throated mockery andTheir public schools don’t teach such things to them because they don’t want to offend anyonewith God talk. 

derision of thinking people.
As for the rest of the Republican Party, it may be worth a check of the politicalOur schools teach to the test, not to the soul. 

winds, because these young people are giving voice to many Americans. More andGetting rid of guns, or controlling their ownership as strictly as they do in Australia, won’t 
more citizens are no longer willing to sacrifice a fundamental right to safety for thestop the next mass killing by a troubled school boy.
maximalist demands of a noisy minority. And in any functioning democracy, theseMore love might.Copyright 2018 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President

voters will no doubt subject their elected representatives to consequences at the ballotRonald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St.
box should they fail to act - all in service, of course, of protecting their loved ones fromMartin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service and president of The Reaganfar worse consequences like those felt in too many classrooms and other public spacesLegacy Foundation. Visit his websites at and
across America. Send comments to Follow @reaganworld on Twitter. Mike’s 


column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using

Graham F. West is the Communications Director for Truman Center for National Policy and

columns contact Sales at

Truman National Security Project, though views expressed here are his own. You can reach Westat 

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