Maybe the kids are alright, after all.
One of the great rewards of surviving into one’s middle age or later is the luxury of mocking the next generation for being lazy, feckless, entitled, and whiny; I’m not even going to try to pretend that I haven’t had a wonderful time teeing off on Millennials every chance I get. It’s a time-honored tradition that doubtless goes back to the first australopithecus looking at the second one and muttering, “I could dig up tubers by myself when I was half your age, argh, when will you grow up?” But that doesn’t change the fact that the next generation of kids who are becoming adults right now is absolutely crucial to the future of the Second Amendment. The good news is that there are some very positive signs to be gleaned from recent events…three of them, in fact…that indicate that we Boomers and Gen Xers might be leaving the Bill of Rights in very good hands.
1. This absolute unit, Kendrick Castillo
This young man was only 18 years old and a senior in high school when some bathtub-fart-bubble-biter decided to shoot up Castillo’s school. Kendrick was unarmed, he was no doubt terrified, and yet he still didn’t hesitate. Together with three friends, Castillo tackled the gunman…and although he lost his life in his act of heroism, thanks to his bravery his was the only life lost that day.
I’ve written before that so many mass shooters seem to be in it for the fame and notoriety, and I still believe that. But Castillo’s actions gave me a vision of the future in which would-be mass shooters never get around to trying…because they know damn well that everyone will forget their name before breakfast tomorrow, but the kid who stopped them or slowed them down will be a hero forever.
2. In fact, everyone at Highlands Ranch STEM School (except the two twerps who tried to get famous)
The lefty media loves to mock pro-gun groups when we offer “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of a mass crime committed with a gun. But they’re far more forgiving of anti-gun groups who show up en masse with pre-made placards and their special no-slip dancin’ shoes (so they don’t slip in the still-drying blood and hurt themselves). That’s not really an exaggeration; between the last shot being fired at Virginia Tech in 2007 and the arrival of the Brady Campaign’s press release was about five hours. It was a warm day that day, so the bodies were literally not cold yet when the Bradies decided to start making political hay.
There’s one group of people who just weren’t having it, though. That would be the other students at Highlands Ranch. When they arrived at what they thought was to be a memorial for Castillo, they instead found a political theater…and they wouldn’t mind being actors in the play, would they? Instead, they walked out. And on their way out, the students shouted at the lefty media that the Bradies had so thoughtfully invited that this was a sham.
3. The thousands upon thousands of kids who are bringing clay games back
You might be saying that clay games never went away, and you’d be right to say so…but the next time you head down to your local trapshooting club, have a look around. Do you see a lot of full heads of brown, blond, and red hair? Or do you see a lot of guys who ain’t as young as they used to be (including yours truly)? The good news–excellent news, in fact–is that over the coming few years you’re going to see a lot more unlined faces, because trapshooting is quickly becoming the fastest-growing high school sport there is. If you take hoplophobic attitudes out of the equation, it makes perfect sense. The shooting sports are considerably safer than the contact sports most young athletes pursue. Injury rates are miniscule, with no worries about a lifetime of cognitive effects thanks to repeated concussions or career-ending injuries.
In fact, high-school trapshooting is now bigger than hockey. In Minnesota. That’s like saying that the Texas high-school football game has been cancelled due to lack of interest.
What’s so heartwarming about this is that the number one way to turn someone who fears firearms into someone who at least acknowledges that we have a right to own them is hands-on experience. So if these high-school clays shooters are just doing this to bulk up their CV and get into college, that’s fine. Once they get into that college, it’s going to be a lot harder for an anti-gun professor to get them to believe some of the stupid things anti-gunners think about guns.
So maybe, just maybe, the kids are alright.
Except for that stupid EDM music, of course. Just noise, is all it is! When will they learn to appreciate real music, like we had in my day?
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