Earth Doctor Rx for Survival

AMERICA’S CHILDREN

O sisters and brothers there’s word on the street:       C Em C G
Your time’s running out if you’re still packing heat.   C Em Am D
There’s fire in their bellies, and millions of feet,          C Em C G
And you better not stand in their  way.                          Em C D–
Young people are coming, ain’t gonna retreat.                   D —
America’s children are marching today.                         G Em C D G

Enough of your thoughts and enough of your prayers.
Enough of the cheap, sanctimonious airs.
You bray about rights while you trample on theirs.
For silver and gold you betray
Your own daughters and sons without turning a hair.
America’s children are marching today

The NRA whispers and calls out the plays.
The NRA whistles and Congress obeys.
Yeah, 54 million’s got plenty to say.
In the closets they’re trying to pray,
While the lives of their classmates are blowing away.
America’s children are marching today

Enough is enough,  you who destroy.
Treat our Constitution as if it’s your toy,
The second amendment your marketing ploy.
For the 96 people who pay
Every day with their lives for the guns you enjoy,
America’s children are marching today

Go march with our blessing and march in our name!
Oh, bring back the light to America’s flame,
An end to America’s corporate shame.
And let the chips fall where they may.
And all generations stand up and proclaim:
America’s children are marching today!

©Doug Hendren 2018

What’s it about?  March 24, 2018, the “March For Our Lives” was a deeply inspiring event for me and many of my colleagues. We still remember the 60’s spirit that ended the Vietnam war, and feared that in this day of embedded journalists and controlled media, such organized social response might no longer be possible for today’s youth. We were wrong! We have now witnessed the emergence of a smart, organized, and deeply committed generation of American youth.

America’s gun violence is of epidemic proportions. More than 38,000 people in the US died of gunshot wounds in 2017, over 96 every day. We averaged more than one mass shooting (4 or more) per day in the first two months of 2018.

Americans own over 40% of all the civilian-owned firearms in the world. Despite an oversaturated market, the NRA staunchly resists even the most modest restrictions on gun sale. Raising the age to 21, background checks to eliminate known criminals or mental health patients, for example. So-called assault weapons with high-capacity magazines. The list goes on. In the larger context, the NRA issue is just one piece of the larger picture of the American “war machine“, the uncontrolled proliferation of the American arms industry.

The NRA exerts an inordinate and inappropriate influence over US lawmakers. There is a striking political asymmetry to gun-rights groups. They overwhelmingly target Republican lawmakers (98 per cent!), and have for many years utterly blocked any sort of reasonable public discussion.

The 2nd amendment is the standard fall-back justification offered in opposition to any gun control. But what exactly does it permit? The operative phrase is “a well-regulated militia”, an 18th-century formulation that hardly describes unsupervised commerce in 21st century automatic and semiautomatic military-type weapons to anyone willing to buy. These arguments are a thinly veiled strategy of the arms industry to maintain and enlarge its domestic market, regardless of the harm that comes to Americans everywhere. Fortunately for us all, our children and teenagers are not fooled.

Did you know that under current laws, a family doctor is not even permitted to discuss with families the importance of keeping firearms locked and out of reach of children?

My hat is off to the young generation for standing up and breaking this evil spell. It is time to make America wise again, compassionate again, and safe again!

4 Comments

  1. Bravo Doug, you nailed it again! Anne

  2. Excellent!! I’m with the students!!!

  3. I too am pleased to see kids in the streets and though I truly believe their hearts are in the right place their political point of view regarding violence this country is shallow and lacking in progressive thought.

    This singular obsession with the Bill of Rights, an inanimate object and basic human right as the genesis of violence in our land is, at best, intellectually slothful. At worst it is just more class war on the wrong side.

    Folks need to think deeper and look at the results of what they support. Americans don’t seem to be able, for the most part, take a long view on things.

    Our collective propensity for mayhem resides far deeper and darker in the heart of our culture than the curtailing of human rights will fix. It would seem that by now the public would have reached the conclusion that prohibition just does not work. In fact, it compounds the situation by instantly creating a criminal class out heretofore productive, law abiding citizens. And that’s just the tip of things.

    Altering our sad and violent nature is going to take altering the culture itself. There are plenty of things we could do as a nation that would actually help tone down societal violence. Socialize medicine. Stop our Assault Government who, by example, solve tons of issues with acute violence. Create meaningful work at a living wage. Demilitarize the police and stop their wanton violence on the poor. Educate. Educate. Educate. Educate the misogyny and racism out of the mainstream. And on and on and on.

    Presently we face a turn toward a serious authoritarian government and police state. Might not be the time to disarm us peasants and leave the oligarchs, nazi lovers in power now, the militarized police and the military armed to the teeth.

    The folks who do not like the Bill of Rights might want to consider the 2nd as a form of detente between all of us on the bottom and power.

    best to all despite difference in affiliation, affliction and attitude.

    To paraphrase Lucy Parsons, we are willing to work for peace at any price, except at the price of liberty.

  4. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. There is no doubt that violence in our society is multifactorial, and many aspects of it are promoted for commercial purposes. Eisenhower foresaw this in his 1952 farewell address on the military-industrial complex. That said, the young people crusading against gun violence have many specific goals which cannot be reasonably refuted, like universal background checks, a reasonable waiting period, and restriction of certain classes of assault weapons and ammunition clips to the public.

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