As I type, the March for Our Lives is happening around the nation. People, led by the youth, are marching against American gun culture and our politicians responding to mass murders by facilitating more mass murders.
I don’t know what this will lead to. Nobody does. It could be part of a larger movement toward gun control or it could lead to nothing at all, just another moment of protest against an immoral nation that doubles down on its immorality when called out on it. But we do know that nothing can change in this nation without direct action protest to open the space for politicians to do something right for once. Sometimes in the liberal blogosphere you see writers and comments eschew direct action protest, arguing that only electing the right people matters. These people are wrong. This is more a projection of personal discomfort with protest than a smart analysis.
The reality is of course that you need both and basically everyone knows that, but it can be easy for people deeply committed to one or the other politics to admit it. You simply will not get the ball rolling on policy changes without people marching to make demands to do so. John L. Lewis knew this, Susan B. Anthony knew this, Martin Luther King knew this, Harvey Milk knew this. Emma Gonzalez and the many other great activists coming out of Stoneman Douglas know this too. It’s our job to support them and demand that our politicians actually do something about gun violence.