The aura of change vs. real change
What the March For Our Lives demonstration can teach us about fighting for real reform.
It’s become a common media exercise to visit Trump country and interview supporters immediately after a shocking policy, chain of events, or tweet comes out of the White House.
Despite the constant dollop of disarray, POTUS 45 fans still believe the Commander-in-Chief, and his antics, can be a vessel for change. (Surprisingly, no journalist asks, “What type of change are you looking for?”)
All too often in the immediate satisfaction era, the aura of change replaces the process and reality of genuine change.
As I was walked with the protesters for March For Our Lives over the weekend in New York, I worried gun control advocates may suffer from the same illusion of an expedited evolution on the nation’s gun views.
But as I spoke with over 100 people (as every fake news reporter does), I realized that today’s excitement is not based on the false pretense of a quick fix, but of a growing coalition ready to put in the time for substantive modifications regarding our gun laws.
With this movement, activists understand there is an enormous amount of work to be done. There will be major political and societal hurdles that might not be cleared for years, if not decades, to come.
Yet, the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas who organized the march over the weekend, and their supporters are still fighting. They are starting to lay the groundwork for a gradual change around the conversation on guns. They are forcefully injecting facts into this debate. They are countering canned and hackneyed talking points with sincerity, poise, and passion. And they are fighting back against those who will undermine their efforts with dubious claims.
There are undoubtedly differing views on what the ultimate goal with gun control should be, but the importance is there is an understanding that this is the beginning of the battle for sensible gun solutions. As Senior Marjory Stoneman Douglas student and Never Again founding member David Hogg stated, “This is the start of the revolution. We are not going anywhere. We are demanding our government takes action and will force them to listen to us or we’ll kick them out. We are ready for the fight.”
And that, in it of itself, is real change.