NEXT KCDW MEETING MAR 28TH (WEDNESDAY): Yacht Club Broiler – No host lunch – 11:30 am; Meeting – 12:30 pm. Speaker: Connie FitzPatrick, Candidate for 26th LD Representative against Jesse Young; NO RSVP required.
PARKLAND – by Jo Fox Burr
“The Florida Senate on Saturday voted down a proposal to ban assault weapons, then immediately pivoted to a moment of silence for victims of the shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school last month” (The Seattle Times; Sunday, March 4, 2018). In this moment of silence, were they praying? If so, what for? Perhaps they were praying no one would notice their callous hypocrisy. I’m not religious, but I don’t think that would be an appropriate use of prayer. Well, the press noticed their hypocrisy and so did the students at that Parkland High School.
When 20 young children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, Obama spoke for most of the nation when he said “We can’t tolerate this any more. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.” Of the several executive actions he signed to begin to make changes, one was to order the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to resume studying the causes of gun violence – a study shut down in 1996 due to NRA pressure. Congress blocked this order by refusing to fund this research. Obama also sent 12 proposals to Congress. None were enacted. Because of Congress, nothing did change.
Fifty-eight people were killed in Las Vegas last October by a shooter using bump stocks to modify his rifles to shoot like automatic weapons. Trump said his administration and Congress would ‘be talking about gun laws as time goes by.’ Time has gone by with no real results. Talk about banning bump stocks has been stalled by Paul Ryan who wants this to be handled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; not by Congress. Somehow, I don’t see even this happening.
In November, 26 people were killed inside a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas by a shooter using an assault rifle. He had been court-martialed from the Air Force for domestic violence. Because the Pentagon did not report him to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, Congress felt they could put the blame on the military for this incident. They seemed to think it freed them from doing anything else.
And then Parkland happened. I will never forget the videos of students huddled together, screaming with utter fear every time they heard gun fire. In the past, I would have thought this inhuman to both film and televise. But now I think it is what is needed to show the horror of what these kids went through. The public needs to feel viscerally what it was like. These videos do this for me.
This time really does feel different. These Parkland High School students are angry. They lived through this nightmare, many having lost friends and teachers. They may never feel safe at school or anywhere ever again. However, they are determined. When politicians try to brush them off, they come back fighting. The Republican controlled Florida legislature may not have the courage to defy the NRA by banning assault weapons, but they did manage to pass some baby steps toward gun control and school safety. These are not courageous steps, though. These legislators are hearing what these wonderfully articulate students are saying and realizing that failure to act could cost them their jobs. Even Governor Scott, with his NRA A+ rating, seems to sense a change in the winds. Perhaps he knows that any hope he has of taking Bill Nelson’s Senate seat requires him to change his tune – or at least appear to do so. For just being able to do this much, these students are magnificent. They give me hope and I want to do what I can to support them and all high school students locally and nationally who are taking up this cause. On March 24th, there will be marches and demonstrations in Seattle and here in Kitsap. I encourage everyone to go to one and join the fight. #NeverAgain.
OTHER UPCOMING DEMOCRATIC MEETINGS AND EVENTS: (*GM designates a general membership meeting)
Kitsap Co. Dem. Central Com: GM* Mar 19th (Monday); 6:30 pm Social; 7 pm meeting; Eagles Nest
23rd Leg. District Democrats: GM* Mar 22nd (Thursday); 6:30pm Social; 7 pm mtg; Olympic Coll – Poulsbo, Rm 120
Leg. District Caucus – Mar 24th (Saturday) 10 am – 5 pm; North Kitsap High School
26th Leg. District Democrats: GM* Apr 5th (Thursday); 6:30pm Social; 7pm; Kitsap Rm, Givens Ctr. Pt Orchard
Leg. District Caucus – Mar 24th (Saturday) 10 am – 5 pm; Location TBA
35th Leg. District Democrats: Pig Roast-Pot Luck is being rescheduled
KITSAP COUNTY DEMOCRATIC WOMEN OFFICERS:
President – Jo Fox Burr: 360-613-4042, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President – Linda Lovgren Houlton: 360-373-4188, email@example.com
Secretary – Donna Raymond: 360-377-3055, firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer – Voni Falkner: 360-613-9596, email@example.com
Deputy Treasurer – Bert Johnson: 360-204-5257, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kitsap County Democratic Women
PO Box 3411
Silverdale, WA 98383 - 9998
“This movement, created by students, led by students, is based on emotion. It is based on passion and it is based on pain. Our biggest flaws—our tendency to be a bit too aggressive, our tendency to lash out, things that you expect from a normal teenager—these are our strengths. The only reason that we’ve gotten so far is that we are not afraid of losing money, we’re not afraid of getting reelected or not getting reelected, we have nothing to lose. The only thing we have to gain at this point is our safety.” Delaney Tarr, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida—highlighting the power of adolescent emotion in a speech on February 21st