An admission. I’m not in a balanced headspace right now. I’ve been watching clips from the March for Our Lives and it’s been affecting me. My skin is hot, I have constant shivers and I’m alternating between states of incredible fury and heartbreak. I’m in a very emotional state and I feel like psychological dissociation is a very real threat right now. So I’m going to write in the hopes that it will tether me. Because I’m not sure what else to do. Frankly, the fact that I’m utterly powerless to do a thing is probably the hardest pill to swallow.
I can’t do shit. I’m an unimportant spec of New Zealand Canadian who has never lived in a country where it was legal to carry firearms. Guns terrify me. Back home our police weren’t even allowed to wield guns. There was serious ethical friction when the idea of equipping the cops with tasers was raised. So everything I’m saying is of a mentality that’s the furthest possible from accepting open carry. I now live in Canada. Open carry is not legal here. The country also has a significantly lower volume of gun violence than America does. I don’t know a single country that doesn’t. I’m saying this not to gloat, but to point out that my words, my emotions, my capacity as a voting member of the public are in every single manner totally useless to do a thing about the horrific state of the United States. I feel worthless and it’s radiating out from a point of frustration into a total body experience. I can’t do a thing. I need to accept the things I cannot change and focus on what’s within my power.
America, you’re fucked and there’s nothing I can do to help.
I’ve been looking at the groundswell of activism in American youth. It’s both warming and breaking my heart simultaneously. It’s so far beyond incredible that the English language doesn’t yet have a word strong enough for it. This burgeoning generation has inherited a systematic nightmare they should never have had to face and will spend their lives trying to disentangle from it. Those who are lucky enough to still have their lives. Do you want to think about that for a second? The number of children – and these are fucking kids- who face the “privilege” of being able to wake up in the morning? Those who have seen classmates buried. Who will spend the rest of their lives permanently altered by injuries both physical and psychological. Who will have to unpack the unearthly weight of their fortunes for the rest of their goddamn existence.
Despite this colossal opposition, they’re staunchly fighting for their lives with an unbelievable vigour. We don’t deserve them and I can’t wait for older generations to bite the fucking dust so they can inherit the earth. These kids, who’ve been teased about their safe spaces and language policing, are braver than we’ve ever given them credit for. They’re creating the world we’ve told them they deserve and they’re doing everything within their power. Because utopia has been taken from them by the selfish, complacent, short sighted generations that came before them. Fucking myopic nationalist simpletons who think their desire to keep their toys is more important than these kids’ right to keep their lives. Politicians caving to gun lobbyists, favouring the money slipping into their back pockets over the safety of the country they have been charged to preserve and lift.
The thing that breaks my heart, is that it’s all going to amount to nothing. No change will come of this. The rallies, hashtags, impassioned speeches, truth spoken to power. The callouts and cries for reform, the lives lost and sacrifices made? I sincerely fear that there’s no way it will even nudge policy. I would love nothing in this world more than to be proven wrong. If anything concrete was going to happen, it would’ve happened when a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children between the ages of six and seven. Nothing did. Crickets. The lives of kids who probably still listed their ages in half years were ended. Congress gave them thoughts and prayers.
For years you’ve been told that together, your voices can move mountains and make the earth quake. You’ve been told that you live in a democratic society that works for the good of its people. Lies, all lies. You’re all fucked because these politicians consider their income to be more important than your rights. Sorry, you lost. Good luck next time. Your loss, fears, hopes and dreams aren’t enough. None of this will end until the politicians responsible for protecting their broken system know what it feels like on a personal level.
But why would you want to move mountains? Moving a mountain would be a colossal waste of energy. It’s far more efficient to drill underneath, to undermine. Pure force pales in effectiveness to subterfuge and I can’t imagine a generation better suited to using everything at their disposal to manifest their dreams to reality. You’re compassionate, intelligent, resourceful and mobilised. Use that. Don’t try to shame congress into action.
MAKE THEM AFRAID OF YOU.
Reach out to sympathetic legal professionals and discover what the absolute limits of your rights are. Then do everything within your legal rights to make these politicians terrified. Use your resourcefulness to figure out every single politician taking bribes from the NRA, then ruin their lives. Be merciless. Send them physical letters every single day demanding change. Send these letters to their office, their homes. Group together, each of you sending mass individual letters. Send emails too. Post comments. Look for every public outreach channel they have. Dominate them with your voices. Twitter. Facebook. Linkedin. Instagram. Call their offices demanding change. Endlessly. Go to their homes and peacefully protest. When they’re out in public, be there. Be everywhere. When they’re out there looking for a nice PR opportunity? Be there. When they go out for dinner? Be there. At the supermarket? Be there. At their family picnics? Be there. At their kids sports events. Be there. Make your voices be heard. Don’t take no for an answer. Make your presence so insurmountable that they can’t do their jobs. What if they start putting out restraining orders? AMAZING. Get others to join in and force them to bring out more restraining orders. Tie them up in the legal system. Take their time. Force them to funnel their money back into the system or shell out for hiring private security guards. Make it impossible for them to live their lives. Make them terrified to leave their houses. You outnumber them exponentially, you’re quicker to react, you’re smarter and better. Make their existence a nightmare. Every single one of them. Let them see just how effective their thoughts and prayers are against a motivated, politically mobilised generation who are better, smarter and more multitudinous than they are. You’re inspiring the rest of the world with your actions and conviction day by day. They forfeited their right to happiness when they chose comfort over doing the right thing. Let them feel even a percentage of the unbelievable misery they’ve brought into this world. Beat them at their own game by changing the rules.
You are powerful beyond belief, but they only way you can win is if they know what loss feels like.