That was swift. As swift as Nikolas Cruz was when he killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It took Florida legislators little time to teach some activist students a lesson by refusing to consider a gun law on Tuesday, even as students from Stoneman Douglas sat in the audience.
One student burst into tears in the gallery, stunned and angered by the slap in the face from adults. Another one, student leader Emma Gonzalez, tweeted: “How could they do that to us?…“We are not forgetting this come midterm elections — the anger that I feel right now is indescribable”
Well done, Florida legislators. You just turned those students against The Establishment. What a mistake.
Do you think the kids will now go away quietly since you flexed your procedural muscle?
So welcome to 1968 and the war between the Vietnam protestors and the government. We were sending young people to die then, too, and they rebelled. Kids are now dying in school mass shootings, and they are about to rebel. The example can extend to the early 1960s, when black youths grew sick and tired of being second class citizens and pushed back and led America in to the Civil Rights Movement.
So yes, what a mistake by Florida lawmakers to not even pretend to show respect for the horrible things those kids saw a week ago. The Stoneman Douglas students got on buses and headed for Tallahassee to get some action. You showed them who's boss.
The students had arrived to witness a move to push a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines directly to the Florida House floor.
Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, the incoming House Democratic leader, called for the bill that had not received a committee hearing to be immediately considered by the full chamber at the start of Tuesday’s House session. A bit unorthodox, yes. But so is the murder of 17 people in a Florida school.
Democrats used the highly unusual procedure to try to move the proposal directly to the House floor for a debate and vote. Republicans voted it down, 71-36. The several survivors watching from the visitors’ gallery were overcome with emotion, and the action set off a firestorm of controversy on social media.
So there you go, brave Stoneman Douglas student activists. This is what you’ll face in the coming days. So brace yourselves.