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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Young, passionate — but not wise

The Parkland survivors are experts on how it feels to be terrorized by a gunman. That doesn’t make them experts on what policies would lower the risk of mass killings in the future.

Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the Douglas High shootings, has become a gun-control activist.

Under the #NeverAgain banner, young activists are calling for school walkouts on March 14 to protest gun violence and demonstrations on March 24. (Youth In Front has advice for student activists.)

Darren, a math teacher, doesn’t think his students are “deep thinkers” who can teach their elders about gun control polixy. They don’t understand “history, philosophy, the Federalist Papers, the Constitution, or any of the other issues involved in the so-called debate about firearms,” he writes. “They just haven’t put enough time, energy, and thought into the subject to make their opinions on the topic worth my while.”

Young people may see the world through fresh eyes, writes Jonah Goldberg. It doesn’t make them wiser or morally better than adults.

“To all the generations before us,” Cameron Kasky, one of the Parkland survivors recently said on HBO’s Real Time, “we sincerely accept your apology. We appreciate you’re willing to let us rebuild the world that you f___ed up.”

Nonsense, writes Goldberg, who isn’t apologizing.

Young people today, and particularly young Americans, should be brimming with gratitude for the world they are inheriting. Lest you think this a cranky right wing sentiment, let me align myself with Barack Obama: “If you had to choose a moment in time to be born, any time in human history, and you didn’t know ahead of time what nationality you were or what gender or what your economic status might be, you’d choose today.”

“The glorification of youth . . . invariably involves powerful adults finding kids who agree with them on some issue and then claiming that all young people think this way,” he writes.

 Some are calling for lowering the voting age to 16. (But raising the age of gun purchases to 21.)

Young gun-control advocates “offer an inspiring example of thoughtful, eloquent protest,” writes psychologist Laurence Steinberg in a New York Times column calling for letting 16-year-olds vote in federal elections.

When students were asked to comment, quite a few said 16-year-olds aren’t mature enough to vote.

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