Propaganda and vague anger are not the same as reasoned arguments and debate — but that doesn’t seem to be stopping gun-hating kids from making vulgar signs that they barely understand.
Over the past few days, the news has been dominated by stories of “walkouts” being staged at schools throughout the country, as students who are in many cases not old enough to vote try to steer America’s gun laws based — fittingly enough — on a grade-school level understanding of the issue.
If there was any doubt that the widespread protests are 99 percent propaganda and 1 percent legitimate concern, a photo making the rounds on Twitter should clear everything up.
On Wednesday night, HuffPost contributor Chad Felix Greene posted a photo of smiling students holding signs that can only be described as hateful and ignorant … and the conservative commentator quickly made a shocking comparison.
“When I first saw this I thought it was Westboro,” Greene wrote, referring to the perpetually offensive Westboro Baptist Church, which routinely hurls insults at fallen soldiers and repeats hateful invective toward gays and Jews — almost always for shock value and attention.
That hateful invective was seen just this week, when members of the WBC protested a Missouri high school football player who recently came out as gay.
“Same irrational yet smugly self-righteous misplaced hatred, propaganda and ignorance,” Greene continued referring to the students protesting for gun control.
Greene shared a photo of five students proudly holding rainbow-colored signs with barely intelligent slogans: “NRA KKK USA,” declared one. “COWARDS LOVE GUNS,” scolded another. “F— YOU GUNS.” So thoughtful.
We’ll get to the larger point in a moment, but it’s so easy to deconstruct these deeply flawed and hateful signs that we’d be remiss not to.
Let’s start with “NRA KKK USA.” The students are implying, apparently, that all three of those groups are the same. Problem: The KKK was a supporter of gun control, and some of the early gun registration laws were used to prevent black Americans from defending themselves.
In fact, when Martin Luther King Jr. applied for a concealed carry permit, he was using a pro-gun law championed by the NRA. Yes, the NRA — which was founded by Union soldiers who fought against slavery — was an early defender of gun rights for African-Americans and an enemy of the KKK.
Remember, the KKK was a largely Democrat organization. Whoops.
“The KKK began as a gun-control organization,” confirmed Adam Winkler in his book “Gun Fight,” and as reported in The New York Times.
“It was a constant pressure among white racists to keep guns out of the hands of African-Americans, because they would rise up and revolt,” he continued.
Condoleezza Rice, who grew up in the segregated South, confirmed this several times while talking about gun control.
“After the first explosion, Daddy just went outside and sat on the porch with his gun on his lap,” America’s first black secretary of state wrote in a book about her family. “Had my father and his neighbors registered their weapons, Bull Connor surely would have confiscated them or worse.”
“What better example of responsible gun ownership is there than what the men of my neighborhood did in response to the KKK and Bull Connor?” she asked.
How about the sign declaring “COWARDS LOVE GUNS?” In this student’s vapid mind, protecting families from the racist KKK — as Rice’s father did — is “cowardly.” Presumably the “brave” decision would be to do nothing while criminals ransacked houses and lynched their way through neighborhoods. So noble.
At the same time, all soldiers and police officers are “cowards” too, but holding a rainbow-colored sign at a rally while conveniently protected by armed cops is the pinnacle of gallantry. Some kids skipping school said so.
Then there’s this classic: “F— GUNS.” This obscene sign actually summarizes the shallowness and emptiness of the protesters’ thoughts perfectly. They can’t even be bothered to form an argument or any rational point.
It’s about vague anger and the childish thrill of putting rude words on a sign. Notice that none of these students declared “F— VIOLENCE” or “STOP CRIME.” No. Those at least would be reasonable, if crude, views that almost everybody agrees on.
Instead they hurl curse words at an inanimate object as if a piece of steel were the devil himself, knowing full well that the next time they call 911, men armed with guns will respond to protect them … assuming that they don’t live in Broward County.
Chad Felix Greene is right: These protests are about ignorance passed off as political commentary and propaganda held up as deep thought.
There is room for an intelligent debate on gun laws, but screaming obscenities and waving daft signs makes it clear that logic has nothing to do with this media circus.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.