The march for our lives needs intersectionality millennial politics data recovery boston

At the time, I was attending school in new haven, connecticut. Sandy hook was just forty minutes away from my campus. Though I did not know any of the victims, the mass shooting fundamentally changed the state of connecticut. Despite the inaction of politicians in washington, within months, our governor signed into law a bipartisan gun control bill that mandated universal background checks, banned high-ammunition magazines, created the nation’s first registry for dangerous-weapon offenders, and expanded the state’s assault weapons ban. Though connecticut republicans have since moved rightward on this issue, there was a true sense of unity in the aftermath of the sandy hook massacre, a common-sense understanding that such violence cannot become normal in our state, even if federal lawmakers refuse to take action.Police officers

To my understanding, my school responded appropriately to the mass shooting. The administration hired more guards, but did not militarize or implement security measures that would criminalize students, such as installing metal detectors or stationing police officers on campus.

After connecticut enacted gun reform, I genuinely believed that congress would do the same. At the time, I did not have a particularly good understanding of politics, but it seemed natural that the slaughter of elementary school children would be enough for legislators, regardless of party, to recognize the necessity of change and act upon their recognition.

I, of course, was wrong.Parkland survivors as the bodies piled up through the years, whether through police violence, military violence, or civilian violence, I began to lose hope for even the possibility of gun safety measures being enacted on a federal level. Like many of my fellow citizens, I became desensitized. I knew it was happening, but I simply didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Now, things are different. The parkland survivors, equipped with a strong civics education, public speaking skills, social media, and the privilege of whiteness, have genuinely shifted the conversation in ways I could have never imagined. And for that, I am grateful.

I am also grateful to see them actively discussing intersectionality and how their whiteness legitimizes them in the eyes of the media and politicians, who ignored and demeaned black activists who have been advocating for gun reform for years.Police officers

At the same time, I recognize that, like the rest of us, the parkland survivors are imperfect. Like the rest of us, they do not have all the answers and will make mistakes. They seem to be quite aware of that.

And that’s why I sincerely hope that they will recognize how misguided and dangerous some of the proposal in their “ manifesto to fix america’s gun laws” are.

I, like the vast majority of americans, take little issue with their proposals to ban semi-automatic weapons that fire high-velocity rounds, ban accessories that simulate automatic weapons, establish a database of gun sales and universal background checks, close gun show and secondhand sales loopholes, allow the CDC to make recommendations for gun reform, raise the firearm purchase age to 21, and dedicate more funds to mental health research and professionals.Mass shooters though I do not believe that these proposals ultimately get to the root causes of gun violence in the united states — namely a gun culture rooted in toxic masculinity and white supremacy — I view these proposals as valid and stand in solidarity with thoughtful efforts to effectively prevent guns from getting into the hands of dangerous individuals.

What I cannot sanction are proposals that would further criminalize people and color and the mentally ill. The manifesto’s calls to increase funding for school security and change privacy laws to allow mental healthcare providers to communicate with law enforcement are short-sighted and dangerous.

White gun control activists have always struggled to understand that gun violence includes state violence.Parkland survivors while mass shootings are perhaps the most nationally visible acts of gun violence in our nation, our military and militarized police force have more systemic power to enact violence via firearms than any mass shooter ever could. And unlike mass shooters, police officers face no consequences for their gun violence. They are not punished for routinely slaughtering unarmed black americans; instead, black bodies are slandered and their deaths at the hands of the police are justified by the media.

The idea that increasing security in schools will help prevent gun violence is both foolish and potentially deadly. We know this because it has already been tried out.Parkland survivors after columbine, schools increased security through measures such as installing metal detectors and stationing police officers on campus. Well, some schools. More specifically, black and brown schools. White students were not and will never be perceived as inherently or likely to be violent in the united states, so of course there was no motivation to increase security in predominantly white school districts. Since black and brown students, on the other hand, are criminalized by nature, it made complete sense to implement measures that assumed criminality and violence, and gave the state power to crush said criminality and violence.

Did these measures stop gun violence?Privacy laws of course not. What they did do is bolster the school-to-prison pipeline and ensure that black and brown students are constantly at risk of violence at the hands of the police. The culture of gun violence was not altered; instead, the culture of white supremacy was further ingrained in our education system.

I love and support the parkland students, but calling for more cops in schools is misguided. Expanding the school to prison pipeline puts black and brown kids in danger, rather than keeping them safe. Hope civil rights/BLM leaders are engaging them on this https://t.Co/cu5ghpvjwz https://t.Co/grmd23ovaa

Additionally, gun control activists have a horrible tendency to demonize mental illness.Police officers both the left and the right characterize mass shooters as mentally ill, the right using the characterization as a diversion and the left using it for… I’m not quite sure, to be frank. In reality, less than 1% of mass shooters are mentally ill, and mentally ill individuals are more likely to be victims of a shooting than perpetrators. Yet the myth persists, leading to ableist calls for measures that would criminalize mental illness, such as the manifesto’s proposal to change privacy laws to allow mental health professionals to betray their patients by collaborating with law enforcement under the presumption that mentally ill individuals are a threat to society, which they are not.Police officers

Suggesting the "changing of privacy laws" would very credibly allow cops to surveil the mentally ill. What makes you think that they wouldn’t? What is it about this hypermilitarized, disdainful of basic constitutional rights police force tha tmakes you think they wouldn’t?

I do not doubt that the parkland survivors are well-intentioned in both of these proposals. With all the misinformation out there about gun violence and even more radical proposals from the right, such as arming teachers, it’s easy to slip into believing that the foolish is wise and the dangerous makes us safer. But these students have real sway over the national conversation right now.Parkland survivors they are leaders of a movement, and that gives them the responsibility to advocate for truth and justice, not simply what sounds good on paper.

I hope that they recognize that regardless of their intentions, they are currently propagating lies and advocating for policies that would harm marginalized communities. The best leaders are those who are willing to learn. We will see if we have found those kinds of leaders in the parkland survivors.