This article is a good one to read for one reason: it is a reminder that Canadians -- who are under very tight gun control laws to begin with -- are getting all the guns they want from the Dark Web. You mean that people who seek to do illegal things get their weapons by illegal means?
You don't say!
Yes, children, gun control is a farce.
And these days with 3D printers, it is very easy to make your own lethal weapons in the comfort of your own home.
So you have a bunch of empty-heads who are marching for something that cannot possibly work because the technology they grew up with disproves their theory.
And that is an interesting contradiction worth examining.
Why do you have a bunch of zombies who are transfixed on their god phones not think that technology makes their request unobtainable?
I mean, come on: ISIS/ISIL/DAESH do all of their terrorist junk using technology and the Internet, but now kids who grew up knowing all of this -- and knowing what web sites have gory death images -- suddenly are living like it's 1969?
Their demands -- should they be granted by some despotic regime -- would make them more vulnerable to more extremist and more cunning homicidal maniacs who would work from the shadows.
We know many killers are, in a real way, techno-geeks: they buy what they need online, they post their manifestos online, they use Google maps to finesse their attacks, and they even use a variety of software to hide their footprints.
And they are teenagers. They are not adults with a PhD in computer engineering or programming. They are kids.
Just as you have teenaged hackers and cyber stalkers.
That is the anarchistic world teenagers have been immersed in for the last twenty years.
So what's up with this ersatz movement that has the same logic of a middle-aged wealthy white man who still hasn't got the hang of this whole Internet thing?
I have been to my share of meetings of my peers where I am the only one to bring a tablet to type my notes as everyone else uses a pen and paper. It always shocks me that you have people scribbling while I can not only type in my notes, I can also take advantage of the Internet to double-check points right on the spot before I pose my questions to the one in charge of the meeting.
It is not the same if I am the oldest in the room, however. Then everyone is using a laptop, or even the smartphone to jot down notes, or even email each other for clarification. When I worked at the Sheridan Institute way back in the early Aughts, the classrooms were already equipped with smart tables where you plugged in your laptop (and during my time, I gave a peer seminar on using "web logs" in the classroom long before it was a thing).
I never had a problem keeping up with technology and taking advantage of it.
So this "march" is very awkwardly archaic. It is not youthful. It is not of the same mindset of someone who grew up with Twitter and Tor. Old school people use their debit card; the little more advance remember to tap, while the youngest just use their phones -- or BitCoin because they are doing their shopping online from home.
And yet here is a march that has the mindset of writing a check instead of, at least, using eTransfer.
Journalists, who also never got used to this whole Internet thing, are not questioning the obvious old timey nincompoopity of this staged freak show because this is how they think and why they became irrelevant in their first place.
Because if this were a genuine youth movement, none of this would be unfolding this way. The mindset is way too old to be on the level.
I am not unfamiliar with teenaged activism. When I was in my graduating year in school, I was already busy with being yearbook editor and (being forced by the aforementioned position) representative on student council, but my history teacher had recruited me to devise an event in school to highlight the problems of Apartheid in South Africa.
It was 1989-1990, and it was a different pre-social media world. I found it odd that he'd ask me, considering he always thought of me as being some sort of fan to Margaret Thatcher, which was peculiar to me considering I always though of myself as some sort of borderline anarchist at the time.
I agreed to the challenge, and I asked friends who were attending other high schools if they did anything along those lines -- and a couple said they had a simulation of Apartheid in their schools where students either got a "white" passport or a "black" passport, and then there would be more freedoms for the minority white passports, and restrictions on the black passport holders.
The feedback I got was the event was a bust because there weren't real restrictions that were actually inconvenient and there was no one actually checking passports.
I asked if there was any organization that their schools used for consultation, and there had been. I called them, and interviewed them, not realizing at the time that was foreshadowing a career in journalism.
I realized the simulation could be more effective with some tweaking. I told my teacher who then left me in charge of the entire event, including the publicity, something I had no experience in.
I had a budget of zero, and was left entirely on my own.
I made it very inconvenient. No groups of three or more "black" passport holders allowed to congregate. No speaking unless you were spoken to by someone in "authority." No sitting in the front row. You had to wait outside the cafeteria for the "white" passports to be seated first, and then you could not sit where you wanted. You had to use the most inconvenient door and stairwell. I recruited the football team to serve as the "security force" to check passports.
The event almost didn't happen. Student council wanted to change black and white to green and blue, but I unleashed my righteousness, and they backed off. My teacher had my back on this one, and I called various media outlets to give them a head's up, something I had never done in my life.
The community paper covered it without hesitation, which was not surprising. One news radio station interviewed my teacher. One rock station interviewed me, and it was my very first media interview.
The television station took a pass, but it was the Hamilton Spectator -- the major daily in the city -- whose response was the most fascinating to me.
At first, they ignored me, but unbeknownst to me, some irate white parents called to the school to complain right before they called the newspaper to complain about the event because they thought teaching their children about the evils of discrimination was wrong. The well-to-do white folks thought it was good enough if their children saw it on the news, and weren't made to feel what it is like to be held back because of the luck of the draw.
That's when the newspaper came to see the "controversy."
Students told them it was lonely and humbling -- but the best sort of education you can get. It was instructive. It was illuminating. The story got positive play on the front page of the metro section -- and I found out about it only after my teacher told me about it when the reporter left.
The paper got positive letters to the editor about it, too, with one reader insisting that my teacher should get a medal for the idea.
But to get attention on a youth-based story came only after the adults with influence told them it was an issue, but in my case, I am sure they were none too thrilled that the story was about what a great educational tool the simulation was.
It was a feather in my cap to know I could tweak a mediocre concept into a powerful one that did its job, and a learning experience that stayed with me. I learned that the Adult With Influence was not the one-off: it was standard for any youth-related story, even when I became a journalist myself.
So this is not a grassroots movement. It has the stink of a well-oiled machine devised by an old rich white man of authority who gets the power of a pricey public relations firm, but never understood the Internet, and despite his billions, has a flip phone.
If we had actual journalism, we'd know exactly who was behind this game and what was the real reason to orchestrate the credulous Selfie Generation to vogue for fleeting fake publicity. Getting real attention on real stories is no longer a thing. Only the prepackaged pseudo-stories ever get a mention anymore.
We are not being informed. We are not being made literate in information verification. Marching in the streets will not solve the problem, but demanding and creating alternatives to journalism would reignite our understanding of the world without having wealthy luddite meddlers dictate our thoughts to us...