If you’re like many conservatives who watched the recent school “walkouts” of students to demonize gun owners and vaguely protest violence, your first thought might have been: “Where are their parents?”
The widespread walkouts, which conveniently couldn’t wait until after school hours, showcased countless teenagers who had only a foggy idea of what they were actually protesting.
There were no doubt some students who were legitimately concerned about the direction of the country, but many more who went with the crowd because it was an easy way to cut class.
A parent named Rachel Penn just called out students for not actually knowing what they stood for, and the message to her son quickly went viral.
Penn shared the post on Facebook Wednesday morning, and as of Thursday afternoon nearly a million people had already shared or reacted to her words.
“My son asked if he could walk out in protest today…here’s how the conversation went,” Penn wrote.
She then went through a conversation that showed her son had only an extremely general vague of why he was protesting, but no real proposals or ideas about which laws needed to be changed.
“Who makes the gun laws? Whose attention are you trying to get? State, federal, local…?” Penn prompted.
“I don’t know,” her son replied.
“Then no, you may not protest in ignorance. You don’t protest something just because everyone else is doing it,” the mother told her son, according to her now-viral post.
“What is happening in our schools is wrong, and scary, and sad, and yes, some things need to change. But you must educate yourself before you can be an agent of change,” she pointed out.
“I’m all about protesting for change, for justice, and being passionate about a cause; I’m not about blindly following the crowd in ignorance,” Rachel Penn concluded.
She is absolutely right. The problem with the recent protests isn’t that students are interested in gun policy; the problem is that they aren’t.
In far too many cases, they have absolutely no idea what the current gun laws are, how background checks work, what has been tried before or what the gun violence statistics actually say. They are protesting in ignorance — not having any of the facts, but believing that they are suddenly experts.
Every generation had a group of young people who believed that they knew all the answers. Whether it’s the counter-culture movement of the 1960s or the punk rock dropouts of the 90s, they may have good intentions, but quickly find out that the world is more complex than they realized.
“The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so,” Ronald Reagan once humorously explained.
Emotion and outrage are not the same things as being right.. and blindly protesting while being deeply uninformed can be worse than doing nothing.
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