If these kids were protesting, I'd at least support them for independent thinking and standing up to authority. Neither groupthink nor begging authority to take more power away from the people is worthy of applause, IMO.
Attending the March 14 school-sanctioned gatherings was not protesting, it was attending a scheduled assembly. No bravery or independent thought required or desired.
Don, I'm calling absolute bullshit on this. Explain exactly what you mean by "school-sanctioned" and "scheduled assembly" and then cite your evidence that it was so.
I've already acknowledged that a lot of the student protesters probably thought "Cool, an excuse to bug out on class." But that is true of every mass demonstration - for every committed activist, there's someone there who's treating it as a giant party. If you are going to sneer at every last student protesting for something you don't happen to like, you need to show your work, not just assert that you think it's a big stupid idea and therefore everyone who's participating is stupid.
I would be seriously pissed if someone - even my own kid - were using my place for parties, without my knowledge or permission.
I'd also be rather upset at a neighbor who knew this was going on and didn't tell me. Neighbors should kind of look out for each other, right? It may not be your responsibility or obligation to tell him, but you'd want him to do it for you, right? If your niece decided to party in your apartment while you were gone, and he knew you had not given her permission?
Now, of course by doing this, you are going to become "That nosy bitch" to son and his friends. But how much do you care that a bunch of teenagers are going to think you're a bitch?
Look, if he'd kept it on the down-low and not upset his dad's neighbor in the first place, you could have just assumed he had permission and let it go. He screwed up, multiple times.
And seriously, 20 or 30 kids in an apartment? How big are these apartments?
My son walked out of school with most all of his classmates the week after the shooting. They didn't have permission, though some teachers supported them. Not the admin, however. And I think this was the case for many of the week-after or so walkouts.
My son also participated in the March 14th walk-out. We talked about it and his point of view on the latter was that it was something of a joke. He wasn't proud for doing it; he did it because everyone was doing it, because the school basically sanctioned it and expected it. It was a nothing moment. I suppose that if his school was larger and their were TV crews around, he and his classmates might have done some "protesting." As it was, they just milled around and talked.
So, I think Don has a pretty good point, one that a lot of kids--like my son and his friends--recognize as well: you're not really taking a stand or even protesting if you're doing what's expected of you and most everyone is offering meaningless "attaboys."
I'm sure at some point, participating in the walkout becomes just the "in" thing to do. I am not saying every high school student who walked out on March 14 was an informed, thoughtful, committed advocate of gun control.
My point was that Don's points were mostly fabrications combined with an ironic dose of "Kids today."
And Don is accusing me and others of hypocrisy for supporting their protest, on the theory that if they were protesting for something we don't like, we wouldn't support them. J'accuse Don of hypocrisy, since I think if they were protesting for something he likes, he would be supporting them.
This isn't new. The UK has had Hate Crimes laws for a while. The UK is also notorious for libel tourism.
The First Amendment is really pretty unique as far as how far it goes in protecting free speech. I don't think any other country protects the range of free expression we do.
I think this is a good thing. But non-Americans often just don't get it, and are as boggled by our laws that allow Nazis to march in the street as we are horrified by what's criminalized in their country.
Because while you can and do enjoy dropping in unattributed gripes about "kids were punished for staying in the classrooms" I'm quite certain you're old to know you can't believe half of what you read and the other half you should critically think about before believing in it.
I posted that link already. I guess I'm like Cass now, no one reads my posts.
If instead of new gun control laws, "Prayer in Schools" had been seized on as the solution to the problem of school violence, and promoted as righteously as these "protests" have been by taxpayer-funded institutions, a ton of people would change their position so fast their necks would snap.
Imagine if this had been a christian institution, the kids reacted in accordance with their beliefs, and it had suddenly become a national movement. Would that be ok? Not to me. YMMV.
Well, no, because you and I both know that prayer in school has never been illegal, contrary to what "prayer in school" campaigners claim. So they'd be protesting for what, exactly?
I am still wanting to know in what way taxpayer-funded institutions have been promoting these protests. I'm sure some schools have been more supportive than others, but you are making it sound like it's been the official policy of school administrations nationwide to encourage walkouts, and I see no evidence that that's the case.
If your more general point is that I would change my position if they were advocating for something I find abhorrent - say, mandatory prayer in school - as opposed to something I merely find questionable, then you're only partially correct. I'd still respect their right to protest for whatever they want. Obviously I'd be much less sympathetic to their goals. But really, you're just applying a weak slippery slope argument. What if they were marching for anarcho-libertarianism and a dismantling of our entire corrupt crony capitalist system? Would you say those damn kids should keep their butts in the classroom then? What if they were marching for white supremacy? Well, I daresay we'd all be horrified then. But the thing is, most of those silly examples are not within the Overton Window and we know high school kids aren't going to march for those things en mass.
So, is your point that even talking about regulating firearms should be outside the Overton Window, or that damn teenagers should stay out of political discussions and not have opinions and things?
If a "Blue Wave" sweeps the mid-term elections, as some are predicting, I predict a lot of people on both sides will be trying to cook numbers to show it was because of a massive increase in the youth vote (whether or not it's true), which will lead to (from the losers) lots of gnashing of teeth about how stupid kids are and how easily misled they are and maybe we ought to raise the voting age, which will be delicious irony for those on the other side who will point out that they apparently think votes are more dangerous than guns.
I have to say this is the first "protest" or "walkout" I'm aware of where kids were punished for staying in their classrooms. When I was in school, events sanctioned by the schools with required participation were not called "protests" or "walkouts," they were called assemblies.
So we have kids marching in school-approved events, shouting school-approved slogans, financed by taxpayer dollars, begging the government to make them less free by stripping them of their natural right of self-defense, and everybody's talking about how brave and rebellious they are? That's pure, undiluted blackwhite duckspeak courtesy of minitrue.
This is what 1984 looks like. And that obviously means I'm guilty of crimethink.
Don, you've crossed the threshold into "Cranky old man complaining about kids these days." With a dose of Snopes-fodder on top.
If you are referring to this story, read it. He wasn't punished for not protesting, he was punished for not going where he was supposed to go during the protest. He chose to stay alone in the classroom. If the school decides "This protest is happening, so we might as well make sure we have accounted for everyone's whereabouts," deciding you're going to refuse and stay in the classroom is no different than saying you refuse to go to an assembly.
"Funded by taxpayer dollars" is a stretch of the most disingenuous sort, and I cannot find any instance of "school-approved slogans," unless you mean by that that in some cases, the school administration was supportive of the protesters. However, if you scan the headlines, there were many more cases of students being punished for protesting, including with paddles.
You may not agree with their cause (gun control), but the older generation usually doesn't like what the kids are protesting about or for. And I cannot help but admire the fact that high school students are doing this.
If you don't like their cause, then convince them they're wrong. Or, you know, you can keep complaining about how the world is going to hell because kids these days have different ideas than you think they should have.
The boardgaming industry has enjoyed a renaissance in the past few years. A lot of people are calling this the Golden Age of Boardgaming because so many new games come out every month.
Interestingly, despite the fact that Amazon sells boardgames far below MSRP, like everything else, there are quite a few independent game stores still doing well.
The ones that survive do so mostly by providing good service and a welcoming environment. I go to a couple and while I won't say I never buy an expensive game cheap on Amazon, I will generally try to buy new games at my FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) if the extra $5 or $10 isn't going to break my budget.
Part of what they offer is table space - allowing people to come and play games from their free game library, and of course, tournaments. (Magic: The Gathering still keeps lots of game stores afloat.)
Mostly, I just like going into a well-kept game store and browsing, and I almost always end up buying something.
Contrast with, say, the doomed Barnes & Noble. And Borders before them. I used to love those places - they felt like book stores where people who loved books hung out - but in the period running up to their demise, they became very much impersonal big box chains whose employees, being underpaid and treated like crap, generally didn't actually care much about books, and they tried to make money by adding lots of junk unrelated to books.
(Independent book stores, on the other hand, are and were very hit and miss. The nice ones are still surviving, but a lot of those places were frankly little hole-in-the-wall closets full of cat dander and grumpy proprietors who didn't really care if you bought something, which is why I never shed many tears about B&N and Borders eating them.)
Point of all this being, Toys'R'Us long ago stopped being a cool place to hang out and oggle all the goodies, and was essentially the Home Depot of Toys. Except toys don't sell like home improvement materials. No one wants to go hang out in a fluorescent warehouse. So they had nothing to compete with Amazon's prices and convenience.
Also regarding boardgaming and online sales - there are several major online boardgame retailers who manage to compete with Amazon, mostly with reward programs, good and obscure selections, and very, very tight margins.
So it's not impossible to compete with Amazon. But you have to be very focused and know your market very well.
The Parkland shooting last month has energized student activists, who are angry and frustrated over gun violence. But it's also contributed to the impression that school shootings are a growing epidemic in America.
In truth, they're not.
"Schools are safer today than they had been in previous decades," says James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University who has studied the phenomenon of mass murder since the 1980s.
Fox and doctoral student Emma Fridel crunched the numbers, and the results should come as a relief to parents.
First, while multiple-victim shootings in general are on the rise, that's not the case in schools. There's an average of about one a year — in a country with more than 100,000 schools.
"There were more back in the '90s than in recent years," says Fox. "For example, in one school year — 1997-98 — there were four multiple-victim shootings in schools."
Second, the overall number of gunshot victims at schools is also down. According to Fox's numbers, back in the 1992-93 school year, about 0.55 students per million were shot and killed; in 2014-15, that rate was closer to 0.15 per million.
This is a fair point, and one I've made myself. But...
People are not calculators. You can say "Well, even though a mass shooting at a school happens every year or so, the odds of you being personally affected are 0.03%," but it's a tough sell to tell kids and their parents that therefore, we should do nothing and just hope that today isn't the day you draw the unlucky lottery ticket.
It's not even about rational risk assessment, because even if you aren't personally a victim of a mass shooting, every one causes a huge amount of pain and grief and despair to a lot of people, which is amplified and affects the rest of society, so it's not just about calculating the odds that someone will come to your school and shoot you.
So to the people who want to do something in the hopes of preventing mass shootings, I don't think "You know that it's very unlikely that you'll ever be shot" is a very convincing argument.
Okay, mikey, here's my problem - I get that you're sick of ranting about Trump, who you see as no worse than Obama. Okay, fair enough, lots of people (most people here) disagree, but we can disagree.
What I see (and what maybe Cass sees too) is that your objections consist of nothing but "Eh, so what, they're all corrupt, nothing will change, it all sucks, why are you bothering to get worked up about this?"
In short, cynicism that goes all the way into nihilism. You're almost as bad as Don, except Don, in fairness, actually has ideas for how he'd like to fix the problem, as unrealistic as they may be.
(Yeah, Don, I still need to get back to you on your "Libertarian fantasy world" thread. I haven't forgotten, honest, just haven't set aside the time to sit down and give it the thinking it merits.)
Anyway, I understand cynicism. I understand rolling eyes at the latest round of Trump-related pearl-clutching. But... if your contributions are nothing but catcalls from the peanut gallery, tossing rotten fruit at anyone who admits to caring about an issue or thinking that something actually matters... it's kind of annoying, you know? It's not discussion, it's not debating, it's just sneering at people for being stupid enough to give a damn.
I knew this one guy on another forum who was always going on about how humanity was doomed, America was flushing itself down the toilet, and he was just gonna sit there and be entertained watching us all swirling the drain. It didn't matter whether the topic was war, elections, gun violence, drugs, disease, sexual harassment, political corruption, the economy, whatever... his contribution to every thread was laughing and snarky comments from the bleachers, as if he were some detached spectator unaffected by anything.
That guy was a really annoying asshole.
(I am not saying you're doing the same thing. But it is a similar attitude. Surely there is something you care about?)