Under the pretense of journalism, reporter Maggie Astor provided some public relations with the valuable New York Times-imprimatur for the children’s crusade for gun control (and a laundry list of made-up left-wing issues like “systems of oppression”) in Thursday’s lead National story, “Speakers, Students, Activists, Survivors – On the road with teenagers from the March for Our Lives.”
Both the teen activists and the supposed journalist skipped over how the massacres of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida actually transpired, partly due to dereliction by both the Broward County sheriff’s department and the police deputy assigned to the school. There was no mention of how mental health clinicians missed danger signs from shooter Nikolas Cruz.
The Times has covered those issues, albeit sporadically, in between bootless calls for even stricter gun control, but on Thursday the focus was on student activist David Hogg and company pushing a left-wing agenda by bus:
Six months and a day after a gunman massacred 17 of their classmates and staff, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School woke up Wednesday and began a new year.
For the past two months, a busload of them have traveled the country in pursuit of stricter gun laws, connecting with local activists, holding rallies, debating counterprotesters and, above all, registering voters....The New York Times spent three days on the road with the March for Our Lives activists to find out what changed.
The journey started August 1 in Greensboro, N.C., under an online headline that insisted: “It’s not about banning guns.” (Could have fooled us.)
With help from a civil rights museum, Astor encouraged readers to liken the kids on the bus to the brave civil rights movement:
Remember, said the museum’s chief executive, John L. Swaine, the movement that would desegregate lunch counters across the South started with just four people -- and they were your age....At the end, they saw a wall covered in a mosaic of civil rights activists’ faces. Here and there were blank spaces. “We left them open for you,” said their tour guide, Dillon Tyler.
The room was silent as he finished speaking. Then Sara Jado, 18, a member of March for Our Lives Greensboro, emerged from the crowd and hugged him. For more than 10 seconds, she did not let go.
As Ms. Jado retreated, Emma González, 18, stepped forward. Then another student. And another. They didn’t speak. They just opened their arms, and Mr. Tyler cried on their shoulders.
These are the bonds that linked everyone on this tour: trauma, and fear, and the knowledge that any of them could be next....
Astor stood up fiercely for the students in this purported news story:
Here lies the disconnect: the chasm between the policies March for Our Lives promotes and the policies many opponents think it promotes. The students don’t want to abolish gun ownership. Some of their families own guns.
There is also an irony to the objection that they “blame guns for everything.” They don’t. At every stop, they emphasize that gun violence can’t be addressed without addressing what fuels it: racism, poverty, substandard schools and mental health services. They speak daily about intersectionality, systems of oppression, the school-to-prison pipeline.
Skipping ahead to Day 3 in Charlottesville, Va., Astor reminded us that the "empowered" teens were in charge:
[Jaclyn Corin] and the rest of the students run the show. The handful of adults with them were there mainly to handle things that minors can’t, like booking hotel rooms.
“We entirely control everything we do,” Mr. Hogg said. “Anybody above 20 on the bus works for us.”
This is exhausting. It’s also empowering.