Mass Shootings

Doe-Eyed Youngsters for My Preferred Policies

The benefits and flaws of policy disputes get sidelined when activist movements adopt kids as human shields.


Resist Kid
Lorena De La Cuesta / Sopa Image/ZUMA Press/Newscom

We're seeking wisdom from the mouths of babes, these days. So I asked my 12-year-old son if the country would be a better, safer place if the government tried to disarm some or all Americans to reduce violent crime.

"I think that would have the opposite effect," he said. "The fewer people who are armed, the fewer people there would be to fight against criminals."

So there we have it: the launch of Pre-Teens Against Infringements of the Right to Self-Defense, right here in my living room.

If you're less than bowled over by my son's insights, you're forgiven. He's short on experience and incompletely developed in his analytic skills. He also is one person, offering an opinion heavily colored by his parents' views and the particular American subculture in which he's raised.

There's no logical reason why his participation in the discussion—which his mother and I encourage as a stepping stone to full engagement in the world around him—would be more convincing than the arguments of pundits, criminologists, and philosophers, just as there's no logical reason to pay special attention to the teens now calling for more-restrictive gun laws in the wake of the Parkland shooting. There's no logical reason that is—but we keep conscripting the tykes into political disputes in an effort to end debate, not advance it.

Take, for example, the debate over abortion, where conservative pro-life activists regularly bring their children to protests in hopes of intensifying the emotional appeal of their cause.

"Across the U.S., kids of all ages are woken up early on Saturday mornings and brought to local abortion clinics to protest with their parents," Jenavieve Hatch wrote for the Huffington Post this past September. "While anti-abortion leaders see children as an integral part of their protesting strategies, abortion rights advocates see young people being used as pawns to harass women making private health care decisions."

Hatch describes a former child participant in anti-abortion demonstrations, now grown, as wishing "her parents hadn't pushed her so hard to actively participate in a cause she didn't quite understand at the time."

Of course kids don't fully comprehend causes into which they're drafted by adults. They haven't yet entirely developed the skills, let alone the perspective, to completely grasp the consequences of changing laws and threatening people with enforcement. Most adults don't know the historical records of the policies they favor, or the potential trade-offs and dangers inherent in legally favoring one set of values over another, and in the face of resistance. Expecting kids to rise to the occasion is asking a lot.

"These young people are at an age that they haven't actually lived long in the life to experience the competing issues that adults have to confront in their lifetime," the premier of the Australian state of Tasmania complained in response to kids hauled in as props at an anti-abortion protest.

So why are kids pulled into these debates by adults?

That's easy. Kids are pulled into political discussions by adults who want to trump debate and shame their opponents into acquiescence. Adults—most of us—are hardwired to protect children, which causes some awkwardness on the path to grinding their policy prescriptions to dust. British researchers have noted that Charles Darwin "originally pointed out that there is something about infants which prompts adults to respond to and care for them which allows our species to survive," and described their own discovery that part of the brain "is specifically active within a seventh of a second in response to (unfamiliar) infant faces but not to adult faces."

Teens might lie on the outer limits of that protective instinct, but most of us still hesitate to engage them as readily and ferociously as we would go after other adults in a heated argument over law or politics. So kids provide very effective human shields for activist movements who co-opt them or simply harness their enthusiasm and put them forward as convenient faces for a cause.

Does this mean that the Parkland survivors and other teens adopting the gun control cause have no actual understanding of the issues? No. These are young people, not yet adults, but rapidly approaching that status, and they're entitled to develop their own opinions—positions that will be molded by their own experiences and the world around them. Many of them are, no doubt, sincerely developing a preference for more restrictive gun laws, just as my son appears to be evolving his own views in quite the opposite direction.

But these kids' opinions are certainly not worthy of more respect than those held by adults of wider experience and (sometimes) greater wisdom. They should be heard, but their opinions are by no means trump cards that should constitute the final word in any debate.

That is, kids' opinions shouldn't logically end debate. But conversational human shields are all about bypassing logic.

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    1. I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

      This is what I do...

  1. the particular American subculture in which he's raised

    Hard-ass desert anarchists?

    1. You can just say rural Arizonan.

  2. I can't even that pic.

  3. My paper had an opinion piece this morning stating the opposite: that everyone should immediately take policy advice from traumatized children. I couldn't get past the first paragraph because my eyes were rolling so hard i could see my frontal lobe.

    1. Surely there are at least a few doe eyed children from that school who don't want more gun restrictions.

      1. Yeah, but they're on our watch list.

      2. There's at least one survivor who disagrees with the politicization of this tragedy.

        1. Well good for him. I wonder how many of the students feel that way? You really get no sense from most news that there is anything but anti-gun activism coming from the students.

    2. As Instapundit asked, why aren't Steve Scalise's views on gun control accepted with total moral authority? He was PERSONALLY shot and wounded quite seriously, after all. These kids were present at a shooting to be sure, but didn't Scalise suffer MORE, given the whole "He was shot" thing and all...

    3. wasn't the logic of disparate impact on youthful offenders based on their brains still being formed?

    4. everyone should immediately take policy advice from traumatized children.

      Advice from my two boys, ages 8 and (almost) 5:

      Mandatory dessert after every meal
      Mandatory TV/screen time and NO reading
      School attendance must be voluntary (kind of agree with them on this)

  4. Its why we have age of consent laws.

    Under that age, society assumes you are not experienced enough to make most decisions. Age of consent also provides some shielding from some bad choices so they don't have adult consequences.

    To me getting kids involved to protest a constitutionally protected right just shows how desperate the gun grabbers are. They don't have the support necessary to repeal the 2nd Amendment, so they are going to use kids.

    1. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly, easily, and dependably the Left uses *emotion* in lieu of rational, logical argument.

      1. Shouldn't be that surprising. It's what most people do most of the time.

        1. I'd go so far as to say everybody does it most of the time.

          1. Maybe. But I hope not. I do my best to interrupt the short-circuit between feel and action, and insert some cranial activity that goes beyond emotional reactions. I'm not perfect. No one is. But I do make an effort.

            1. There is a difference between logic and reason, they aren't the same. Reason has an emotional component to it. Being able to reason and make reasonable arguments involves relying on emotion to some degree. The reason most people outside of a laboratory don't give much credit to purely logical arguments is because they can't get a feel for them.

              1. Maybe you have a point. I've never thought about the difference between logic and reason. I will look into that. Thank you.

                Ke$ha still sucks 😉

                1. I will look into that. Thank you.

                  If you're a reader, check out Edge of Reason by Julian Baggini and/or Personal Knowledge by Michael Polanyi. The first one is much shorter and is an easier read.

                2. Ke$ha still sucks 😉

                  She's dropped the $ and gone country now. She's looking better now that she's cleaned herself up.

              2. all logic arises from at least one premise - a premise always has an emotional origin as no-one bothers to construct a premise with no motivation

            2. I try to be like that too. But I think that people like you and I (and lots of other libertarian-ish sorts) are the weirdos.

              And I think that we are all less rational than we like to think. Still, making the effort is worth it, I think.

              Also, and unrelated. I spoke to JD and Dan and they don't in fact hate you forever and would be happy to have something to do with you if you can keep it together. Email me if you want to.

              1. Email me if you want to.

                I would if I knew the address.

                1. I've posted my email here before, but I don't want to push my luck. You could try my garbage email. tgrow666 gmail. Or if you have anything saved from the google groups, you should have it.

              2. if you can keep it together

                That's the trick.

                I can fool you with slight of hand, I can juggle,I can tell a joke, but can I keep it together after a few drinks?

              3. Zeb, if you want to talk, and I would like it if you did, JD has all my contact information.

      2. That's because the left has no rational arguments on anything. It's all about the feelz.

      3. When learning about persuasive writing in school, I encountered the concept of ethos, pathos, and logos, which are appeals to authority, emotion, and logic, respectively. One person I know remembered the terms by noticing that "pathos" and "pathetic" have the same root. Pathos alone makes for a pathetic argument. Ideally all three are utilized.

        And indeed, the left is fantastic at appealing to pathos (people will die) and ethos (I know what's best because X,Y,Z). Heck, the right is, too. Logos is obsolete. Logos doesn't sell products or win votes. Emotion inflames us, authority helps us feel safe, logic just hurts our heads.

        1. One person I know remembered the terms by noticing that "pathos" and "pathetic" have the same root.

          Interesting that your friend didn't realize there is another word with the same root, "sympathetic".

          1. Also empathy. I'm certain they were aware, it was just a mnemonic.

            1. Interesting site, by the way.

      4. I find it interesting that "Libertarian" picks up only on the Left using emotion instead of logic, while ignoring the right's use of the same tactic, e.g. when protesting at abortion clinics.

      5. whereas the 'right' is always supremely logical - says person who lives in a cave

    2. I do wonder why kids are adult enough to vote and have opinions we dare not discount...but must also be on mom and dad's insurance until they are 26.

  5. You know who also used kids to further their authoritarian cause?

    1. Coppertone?

      1. The Little Rascals.

    2. Boy scouts?

    3. Teletubbies?

    4. I can't believe nobody has mentioned Thomas the Tank Engine yet.

      1. Don't get me started on Bob the Builder. What a fascist he is.

        1. Central planners....

    5. Gatchaman?

    6. He Who Walks Behind the Rows?

    7. Captain Kirk, in that Star Trek episode were all the "grups" are dead?

    8. Getting closer but it has "Social" in the name.

        1. Getting colder.

    9. Magilla Gorilla?

    10. Pretty much everyone, really.

    11. Captain Kangaroo?

    12. Re: loveconstitution1789,

      You know who also used kids to further their authoritarian cause?


    13. Micheal Jackson?

      Too soon?

  6. So why are kids pulled into these debates by adults?

    Because we no longer have the ability to force them into the Army to see the world and kill foreigners at our behest. So they've gotta do something to earn their keep.

  7. Activists of any kind don't want to have a real debate. An actual debate would require facing the reality that not all problems can be solved or if they can be solved, solved easily. An honest debate also requires admitting that one person's solution is another person's problem. Debates are hard and require honesty and compromise and are not conducive to fanaticism and virtue signaling. No one who becomes an "activist" about anything is interested in that.

    1. Today's activist is yesterday's mob.

      1. To some extent. I think it's also just a lot of 60's romanticism.

        1. I've been seeing a lot of 80's romanticism as of late.

          1. Dude, that's because the 80's were awesome.

      2. and tomorrows dead body?

    2. much better to be a cynical couch potato right ?

  8. New trends in liberalism:
    People between the ages of 18-20 are too undeveloped and stupid to be given the choice to buy cigarettes or vapes.
    We should, lower the voting age and listen to teenage kids about gun control.

    1. I wouldn't have let 25-year-old me voted. I was completely clueless about most everything at that age.

      1. Including no doubt the reality that the older generation was spending money for themselves and incurring debt for you

    2. Also, beer, wine, liquor and handguns are similarly verboten for the under-21 crowd.

      And apparently, health insurance is too hard for people under 26, so they can stay on mommy's policy.

      But, yeah, let's lower the voting age to 16...

      1. should have to take a test to prove you're an adult...

        1. At the age of 8 you should get a pet for a year. At the end of the year, you have a local celebration at the end of which, you murder your pet and eat it. Where I grew up, this was known as 4-H.

    3. They are good enough for cannon fodder in neo-con wars at 18 but they are not good enough to buy alcohol, cigs, vapes, or gamble.

    4. And yet they are completely educated enough to decide about killing a baby, and about major permanent body altering surgery.

  9. But conversational human shields are all about bypassing logic.

    Who cares? If you're Super LogicMan then you can ignore any attempts at emotional engagement and get right to the logicy goodness that is your argument. Right?

    1. Not wanting logic to get bypassed doesn't preclude emotional engagement. Effective communication among humans requires both.

      1. Get! OUT!

        /Elaine Benes

      2. There's no logical basis for anything anyway. We have to make some emotional leap about our beliefs in order to have anything to argue from at all.

    2. I've been told libertarians are autistic and don't empathize.

      1. But we're very good drivers.

        1. I do wave at other drivers if they give me the finger. No empathy for the bird.

        2. Do you have to register as a Libertarian to get the discount?

      2. Well, yeah. Having empathy means using the threat of violence to make people do what you think is best for them. If you think that everyone's individual circumstances are too unique for any coercive top-down solution, and that individuals should be respected as individuals, you lack empathy and probably have other mental problems as well. It is known.

  10. Tuccille, your children are going to be outliers, if not actual outcasts.

  11. True that some use the kids to spur emotion, but some parents also do it to try and reinforce the viewpoint they have with their children - further indoctrination, if you want to put it that way. My parents used to take us for to door Christmas caroling, not to try and prevent people from slamming their does on us, but to show us that was a good thing for the community.

  12. "Across the U.S., kids of all ages are woken up early on Saturday mornings and brought to local abortion clinics to protest with their parents,"

    I wonder why the pro-choice folks don't fight back with kids of their own.

    1. "Thing about those anti-abortion rallies, you wouldn't want to fuck any of them anyway!"


      1. isn't he dead? or at least appears that way?

        1. Yes, but his wit and humor are immortal.

          1. Yeah. Be nice if sarcasmic had provide us with a sample of it

    2. I think I was at a pro-choice rally once when I was a kid.

      1. I was at one in college. Actually it was one of those clinic "defenses" during a period when Operation Rescue was targeting my city. All the cool kids were doing it - which is really the only reason I was there.

  13. It isn't just kids it is trot out the victim as to be able to not counter. Remember when Kerry trotted out the 4 9/11 widows during the 2004 Campaign. They were free to spout anything they wanted cause if you tried to counter them you were a heartless meanie attacking poor widows. 2016 and the DNC trot out the Khans. they were free to spout whatever they wanted and once again if you countered them you were a big meanie(Of course that wasn't the same for Shoun Smiths mother at the RNC). These kids suddenly have all the moral authority cause they are victims. You watch they will be cause celeb at rallies for Dems throughout the year. The will comment on everything from Gun Control to Single Payer Healthcare to Immigration and if you counter them you will be the big meanie picking on victimized school kids.

    1. Difficult to imagine a more disgusting collection of inhuman garbage in so few words

  14. So why are kids pulled into these debates by adults?

    Invoking the chilluns elicits an emotional response. And all leftists have is emotions. Most provide tacit admission to this when they say "I feel" instead of "I think". They also demonstrate that their ideas are only on par with that of traumatized, hyper-emotional teenagers.

  15. Using children, and other emotional flags, to win debates is old news. What worries me more is a modern tendency for many adults to want to BE children, especially in promoting a nanny state, and having some kind, caring parental authority take care of them (and protect them from us: the people who think adults should behave like adults and take responsibility for life).

    1. It's pretty childish to think that the reason we can't regulate guns is because someday you might be in an action movie scenario.

      1. It's pretty childish that, despite being your 40s, you still haven't learned to read.

        1. He knows how to read. He's just doesn't argue in good faith.

        2. I am not in my 40s you harlot. Why is everyone calling me old lately? You guys were all older than me 5 years ago, so it stands to reason that you still are.

          1. ""I am not in my 40s you harlot. Why is everyone calling me old lately?"'

            Well, perhaps because you use words like "harlot".

            Who the hell says that anymore?

            Unless it's Charlotte the Harlot.

          2. Nope. The feel younger, so they are.

      2. There are certainly outliers and gun nuts, but the vast majority of defensive use occurs without a single shot fired. Most gun owners really, really don't want to have to pull the trigger or even be in a situation requiring a firearm to de-escalate. Most gun owners are hoping that the sound of a shotgun slide will encourage a criminal to walk away. It's common wisdom that after a defensive use of a gun the first call should be 911, and the second call should be a reputable self-defense lawyer. For good reason the investigations are rigorous.

        If one was really fixated on killing, it'd be more prudent to join the police or the military where a fatal shooting will endanger neither their freedom or even their job.

        1. And I suspect that successful uses of firearms for self defense are highly unreported for that reason. I bet a lot of potential assaults, robberies, etc. are stopped by making the attacker aware that someone has a gun.

        2. The last time I can recall pulling a firearm in self-defense involved exactly that: getting my 12-gauge and racking a round when my neighbor and I saw three guys who didn't belong in our neighborhood (yes, we were small enough that we knew our neighbors). They left without further ado.

          1. The remark of a psychopath

      3. can't regulate guns

        Tens of thousands of gun laws on the books does not count as "regulated"? 0_o

        1. So what's a couple more?

          1. Depends what they are, I guess. They should go with a bump stock ban. Then they will feel like they've accomplished something, but it won't really matter.

            1. Really doing something without doing anything real.

        2. Not really, no.

          The solutions that would actually work are largely unconstitional, and the ones that are constitutional are largely ineffective because states and cities are unable to control their borders.

          So no. Our gun laws are mostly message legislation that are bandaids on bullet wounds. They might help on the margin, but they're ineffective at helping the actual problem.

    2. So your idea of 'taking responsibility' is to have the maximum possible number of deadly weapons in every part of the society your children grow up in ? A dismal slide into insanity

  16. Teens might lie on the outer limits of that protective instinct, but most of us still hesitate to engage them as readily and ferociously as we would go after other adults in a heated argument over law or politics

    Give teens an inch And they will eat you alive. You must always be on full offense and defense around teens

    1. hands out machetes to with their hands!

  17. I think the draft, drinking, smoking, gun buying, and consent ages should be tied to the voting age.

  18. People ask in horror why nothing was done to address mass shootings following Sandy Hook. Turns out the victims were simply too young to become activists.

    Fuck the gun nuts and their stranglehold on the status quo. May you all learn how to cope with not having a weapon of mass murder while possessing a tiny penis.

    1. "Stranglehold on the status quo" meaning "more reflective of public opinion than their opponents." What happened to your love of majority opinion, Tony?

      Also, anyone who lets their opinion be guided by the action of others is not doing logic correctly.

    2. May you all learn how to cope with not having a weapon of mass murder while possessing a tiny penis.

      Tony is offering lessons.

    3. stranglehold on the status quo

      Otherwise known as the Constitution, under which many patently un-constitutional gun laws are currently enforced. How many more laws do you want?

    4. Nothing was done because there was nothing of value to do. This is a problem with American culture (as a whole, not just "gun" culture) that has no legislative solution. It sucks, but some problems are like that. Most things can't be fixed by government force without causing even greater problems.

      1. This is a problem with American culture (as a whole, not just "gun" culture) that has no legislative solution. It sucks, but some there are lots of problems are like that.

        The majority of the time that legislation looks like or is portrayed as *the* solution that worked, it's a proxy or bit player in a multi-faceted solution.

      2. Maybe the right approach is to ask why, in a society awash with guns, some people preteend they cannot figure out why thousands die every year from bullet wounds - and how much money is involved?

      3. This is a desperately inhuman perspective - an utter betrayal of the young by a cynical adult

    5. People ask in horror why nothing was done to address mass shootings following Sandy Hook.

      Maybe the right approach isn't "asking in horror", but rather asking what multiple factors actually contribute to shootings. That would be a far better starting point than something akin to screaming at the doctor who has no simple answers in how to treat the cancer.

    6. Re: Tony,

      People ask in horror why nothing was done to address mass shootings following Sandy Hook.

      Those people who ask in horror anything are not equipped to have reasoned discussions of any kind.

      So which people are you talking about? Was it you and that person in the mirror with the look of horror in his wittle fwace?

      1. Oh please. As if the gun fetishists aren't reacting emotionally.

        Der gerrna terk er gerns! Everyone get hysterical!

        1. I don't think they are going to take our guns. But let's not pretend that that is not the end goal of a lot of gun control activists.

        2. "It's pure paranoia to think people are gonna take your guns, no matter how often they vocally fantasize about doing so, call for it to happen, push for it, and scream at you for not letting them! You're crazy and obsessed!"

          Or, as the saying goes, "we have facts, they have dick jokes".

          1. (The best part, actually, is that I hadn't even read the parent post.

            Where, yep, the obligatory penis comment.

            Because that's all you have, right?)

    7. It's all good, Tony. Just whip yours out and waggle it at the next first sign of danger

      1. TBF, whipping out your dick and doing a windmill would dissuade at least a few muggers.

  19. This is all very unfortunate, because it's squandering the opportunity to look deeper at why these shootings (or other issues) happen.

    Politicians co-op children all the time, and much of it is to pass more bad, ineffective, and Constitutionally questionable law. But the "do it for the children" rhetoric is usually effective in garnering support. There's something especially slimy when politicians and lobby groups use children and tragedy as leverage to play politics, while ignoring the complexity and multiple variables behind said issue. Sledgehammer policy is also pushed through with the most benign language possible.

  20. In the mid-nineties I worked as a special ed paraprofessional in an elementary school located in a heavily African-American neighborhood, and over 90% of our kids were black. One day the whole school was called in for an assembly put on by some community activist group. Local TV news cameras were present. It was your standard left/local issue advocacy thing...subsidized housing, anger at politician X, make whitey pay, the usual stuff. What was hilarious was that the activists had ALREADY MADE the signs they handed out to our kids to wave around, and they were deliberately crude to make it look as if the kids had made them! It was staged from the beginning, and our kids had no idea what opinions they were supposedly advocating. Pure theater.

    1. I'm sure the real bitch was getting the flies to land on their faces at the same time.

  21. I heard on the radio today that there's going to be a kids march for doing something.

    1. I don't usually do the "shit they say on NPR" thing. But the past few days there has been something that has really irritated me.
      They are talking about how Russian trolls started in with trolling right after this shooting. Eventually promoting what the NPR people have been describing as "extremist positions on guns".
      The supposedly "extreme" position? Allowing qualified teachers to be armed in school. Now maybe that's not a mainstream position. But it's hardly extreme. I'd bet that maybe 1/3 of the country or more agrees, or could be persuaded.

      1. Funny thing, as of 2014 or so, at least eighteen states did have legal paths for teachers and staff to be armed in public schools.

        The "problem" is that even in places where it's legal, most teachers don't want to be armed. Just like most citizens, even in places with "shall issue" concealed carry permits don't want to be armed.

        It's kind of weird. Even as the "gun rights" crowd wins the legal battle, the number of actual folks that are choosing to go around armed in their everyday lives are continuing to shrink.

        1. I also don't wear a suit to work even though I am allowed. Terrible, terrible freedom.

          1. When folks start arguing that all we need to do to reduce [suit-based crime] is for more people to wear suits, that'll be relevant.

      2. the fact that you think arming teachers is 'not extreme' is as clear an indication as possible that part of your society is insane

  22. I wouldn't have trusted most of my high school teachers with a gun. Too many among them going through divorces etc and yelling at kids all day. The gym teachers were particularly unstable and I think they were the ones most likely to own guns.

    1. Lester224 bringin' up the truths nobody wants to discuss.

  23. The best summary of the whole thing I've seen is Reynolds' "It's cheap emotional bullying".

    (Naturally, I expect 98% of the support for "The Children's Voices Being Heard" to evaporate the second The Children say something the supporters don't like.)

    1. You have not the guts to say that to one of these deeply damaged young people - have you no shame?

      1. I would tell those little bastards right to their face. Drink bleach migrant.

  24. Well, Bambi's mother was a doe-eyed kid, and looked what happened there.
    Maybe we need to start raising hard eyed, hard knuckled brutes with side arms, and see what the effect is on school shootings.

  25. I heard two radio hosts playing the same card today. One was an ESPN host, the other was on our local christian station.

    Both did the same basic gambit. They went on a gun-control rant against republicans - "do something! People are Dying!!" and immediately followed up with an admonition against anyone saying anything insensitive to the plight of the victims and survivors.

    Now, I'm located in Broward County, less than 20 miles from the school shooting, so maybe it is different here. But the gambit seems to be pretty prevalent. I've heard variants from regular folk as well. State your opposition to all things gun, and then wrap yourself in the survivor's grief, declaring any comment at this time to be heartless and insensitive.

    One of the hosts - after going on a gun-control rant against the congress - told of getting tweets from people correcting him about the definition of assault rifle. "Don't you dare.... everyone just wants to get in their political talking points. Can't you wait even a few days before jumping in? Can't you just let it marinate for a little while? It is way too soon for all this politics."

    This in a discussion about school kids going to the legislature to protest for gun control and following his own personal gun control rant.

    It is the perfect exemplar of the left's new paradigm - nobody has a right to speak if they disagree with our obviously morally correct and holy position.

  26. Also - these kids are uniformly being described as student activists, people responding to a tragedy by starting their own grass-roots movement. Even in a discussion in which a reporter told of the organizations (teacher's union, DNC, MoveOn types, etc.) that were involved in organizing the teen activism, they always talked of the teens as being a pristine grass roots movement.

    One reporter described them that way and was asked if adults were using them... he beat around the bush and mentioned groups that he was obviously aware of having involvement... and then seemed to gain his footing when he figured out an angle that would allow him to speak more freely: "What I would think the Republicans would be asking is 'why did the democrats choose to bring up this bill today, when all of these children were here? The bill has been around for two years, why bring it up for a vote today?" (this is in reference to a Florida State legislature gun control bill.)

    This allowed him to talk about people cynically using kids as props without suggesting that the kids had been specifically brought in as props - even though his reporting clearly suggested that that was the case. Because even for a reporter, telling a kid that they are being used as a prop is a non-starter. No kid is going to believe that he is being manipulated, and any such suggestion is easy to lampoon in a way that makes the speaker into a villain.

    1. Thanks for the local updates, Cyto. This certainly the worst backlash I've seen since Sandy Hook, and it might even be worse. The liberal use of the survivors for Kabuki theatre is particularly appalling this time. They did the same thing with the parents and survivors of Tech (Brady Campaign!) and Sandy Hook, and it really grosses me out. Some of the Antis are skewering the "thoughts and prayers" of others as political theatre. Certainly, acting pensive is a defense against the mob-fueled pathos that envelopes discussions, but nobody will discuss anything worthwhile (or even truthful!) with us, so we refuse to talk until everyone's popped a few Ativan.

      As you said, the people I really can't tolerate are the agitators and opportunists. The vast majority of citzens, regardless of their thoughts on gun control, want this stuff to stop happening now. To leverage that benevolence to push any agenda is despicable, and despite the mud the Antis are trying to sling, it's apparent to many of us who's truly unsympathetic.

      "It is the perfect exemplar of the left's new paradigm - nobody has a right to speak if they disagree with our obviously morally correct and holy position."

      Today I learned about bulverism, which is immediately assuming your debate partner is wrong without actually considering or verifying their position. It is the chief paradigm in modern politics, and I'd like to nurture methods to defeat it.

      1. Since the last election the #Resist-ards have spread out into small town America, looking for any cause or opportunity to grab attention and throw shit at Trump and the GOP in general. These people are professional agitators working behind the scenes with deep pockets. How do you think high school kids were able to organize on short notice and afford to rent busses to take them to state capitols or DC? It seems that only the media is dumb enough not to see this. Not that there aren't some gun control measures that might be worth it, but thats not what this is about-its about making the other side look bad.

  27. I agree with everything in this column except the use of the term "human shields".

    Yes, using children or teens will help produce more sympathy, but it's not like they're putting us in a position of having to kill innocent people (children or otherwise) in order to counterattack those who are attacking us. THAT is what the term "human shield" actually means.

    And as a supporter of Israel, I object even more strongly to your cheapening the term "human shields". Human shields are what Hamas uses to make Israel look bad when it counterattacks areas where Hamas has just sent missiles or artillery shells into Israel.

    1. 'Human shields' are what the IDF calls the Palestinians slaughtered by overwhelming military.

  28. This is a desperately sad and dismal article by someone bereft of humanity. The young people who are speaking with eloquence from their direct experience of this tragedy and the agony they feel simply dismissed by Tuccile as ''conversational human shields ....all about bypassing logic''
    What a tragedy that some Americans sink to such depths of cynicism in the face of the slaughter and the victims.

      -Migrant 2018 colourized.

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