MANSFIELD: Has the Sleeping Giant of Politics Finally Been Awakened?


Has the murder and mayhem of school shootings finally reached a political tipping point? I can readily understand if public opinion is a resounding “No!” on the issue, considering how many school shootings have occurred since 12 people died in the Columbine, Colorado high school killings in 1999. And when the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting (where 27 children and adults died) occurred in 2012 and nothing happened, most people who had been advocating for sanity in regards to our gun laws for years simply gave up.

But this time there is a difference. For the first time young people — those who have real skin in the game because they’re the ones sitting exposed in the classrooms — are speaking up loud and clear about the issue. And while they might not be able to get changes in the laws immediately, they could make a real difference.

As one young woman, who was at the high school in Parkland, Florida when the most recent shooting occurred stated on a news program, her generation is the masters of social media, and they are going to be sure they have a loud and clear voice. Indeed, young people who have been somewhat lackadaisical in terms of registering and voting, are now going to be eagerly awaiting their 18th birthday.

Politicians who are in the habit of simply ducking their heads until an issue blows over might be in for a big surprise — this time it might not blow over. And the reason is simple: the issue affects so many young people, and once they get a taste of their own power, they’re going to be out for political blood.

These committed young people are going to quickly assess the situation and begin to formulate strategies that will reduce the incidents of gun violence. Sure, addressing mental health issues will be part of the strategy, but when someone who is in the pocket of the National Rifle Association posits “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” their response will be “Yeah, but they do it with guns.” Indeed, if the disturbed individual that carried out the killings in Florida has used a knife or a club there would have been far fewer fatalities.

Similar to the “Me Too” movement, no changes will occur overnight. But the will to bring about changes in the status quo is building among these young people, and it’s not going to stop. If it takes a change to the Second Amendment, these young people are just the ones to do it. And those politicians who place their fealty to the NRA over the will of the people, sooner rather than later, are going to pay a steep price.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.

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3 Responses to “MANSFIELD: Has the Sleeping Giant of Politics Finally Been Awakened?”

  1. Terdolph

    No, a sleeping giant has not been awakened. The sad fact is that Nickolas Cruz was a violent psychotic on SSRI inhibitors as was Adam Lanza. Neither one should have been walking the streets in a country where there are over 400 million guns in circulation. We have to face reality, and the reality is that it only takes one violent psychotic on dangerous medication to get one of those 400 million guns and go to a gun free zone to wreak havoc.

    The idea that we could medicate people like Lanza and cruz and de-institutionalize them was a nice fantasy, but obviously it hasn’t worked. Furthermore, the more Lysegic Acid derived drugs we put on the market, the more problems we are going to have with unsupervised individuals taking them who become homicidal.

    One final thought, even wonder why there has never been a successful mass shooting at a shopping mall? Hint: 140 million adult males in this country, 14 million CCW permits. A shooter knows that in a mall with 1000 people, he will likely confront up to 25 armed citizens. Even if you were nuts would you take those odds?


  2. Lee Batdorff

    From the mid-1960s into the early 1970s the anti-Vietnam War movement was largely made up of college and high school students with the occasional adult college professor and religious ministers joining in. There was a popular saying, “Don’t trust anyone over 30.”
    This issue plays out much differently. The young people who have thrown themselves into this have the full backing of their parents, teachers, healthcare workers, police and a broad swath of the general public.

  3. Mark Giuliano

    Thanks, Mansfield. Power to our young people!

    And let’s not demonize the mentally ill, or let mental illness become a straw man argument. After all, there are mentally ill in every country, but only in the USA do we see mass shootings with such high numbers of people killed. The issue is easy access to automatic, semi-automatic, and assault weapons.

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