Editor: I commend the students of Loudoun for their exercise of civic action. It’s a trait parents should instill in each of their children. Sadly, the printed T-shirts and well-worn slogans pushed by political special interest groups detracted from last week’s events.
I want to ask the students directly if they have the creepy feeling of being played by adults. After all, you’re asking government to restrict your civil liberties as protected under the U.S and Virginia constitutions—the exact same government that completely failed the students in Parkland. When you peel back the rhetoric and simpleton slogans, what you see is a mob of adults covering their establishment rear ends. They failed, miserably, to do their most basic of duties; protecting those students. And their answer is to blame others.
Parkland should never have happened. It was 100 percent preventable. The school district had plenty of knowledge the homicidal fanatic was a problem for a long time. Yet, they did nothing.
Florida’s Department of Children and Families interviewed the killer before the massacre. They knew who he was. They knew there was a problem. Yet they did nothing.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office had over 50 different contacts with this individual, all incidents of violence or threats. They knew exactly who he was. Over 50 chances to step in and make a difference. Yet they did nothing.
During the horror, the Sheriff’s Department had a deputy on site in a position to step up and save lives, and he hid. He did nothing.
The FBI was contacted about the killer less than a month before the shooting. In sworn testimony the Bureau admits they had “explicit” warnings of what was at stake, including a YouTube post by the murderer saying he was going to commit this act. They didn’t look into it and they didn’t pass it on to local law enforcement. They did nothing.
It was completely preventable. Your government didn’t just drop the ball—this is raw malfeasance.
So, I ask, when is the walk-out protesting the system that failed every victim at Parkland on every single level happening? Isn’t that worth 17 minutes as well?
As students, aren’t you suspicious the adults who are handing you pre-printed t-shirts and signs might actually be covering up the failures of other adults? Of the establishment? They’re trying to sell you that inanimate objects, civil rights groups, political parties, and anyone or anything they can come up with are to blame—anyone—but not those who knew and had the power to do something. Somehow, they’re silent on that failure and, astonishingly, are standing by those who failed us all completely.
Think about it. They want your attention diverted away from an ultimate fail of government. They want you to willingly eliminate your civil liberties while ignoring the blaring collapse of a system which had dozens upon dozens of chances to act and yet didn’t. Does that sound right? It’s not. You’re being played.
As students, I urge you to ask tough questions and demand true answers. Don’t ever let anyone, particularly adults, get away with falsehoods or deflection. If they can’t give you a logical and honest answer as to why the system failed, then they don’t have your interest in mind.
Be extremely suspect of adults who push for you to strip your civil liberties away. These are the very same adults who actively despise your essential freedoms. Free speech is under brutal attack. The freedom of, and from, religion is threatened. Your freedom to own a firearm is particularly loathed by the establishment. Your due process protections are threatened everyday by democrat and republican politicians. Your 4th Amendment protections have been whittled down for decades, and the list goes on.
The erosion of your freedoms is being undertaken by the very same people who are covering up for their own failures. They’re standing by the adults who enabled Parkland to happen, yet they want you to give up your freedoms? Think hard about that. They failed, so your generation has to pay? Reject these people and hold them accountable.
Chris Manthos, Leesburg