The headline started with “West Philadelphia” and my mind immediately filled in with “…born and raised. On the playground is where I spent most of my days.” Then again, I’m also telling my age on that one.
The rest of it talks about an anti-violence march, though. This one was mostly kids.
The shootings in Philadelphia don’t seem to be slowing down and neither are the marches against gun violence. Now, children are joining the movement.
As the nation reacts to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, Philadelphia residents are hitting the streets to also say enough is enough to rising violence here in the city.
On Wednesday alone, there were 12 shootings across the city. The number of children affected continues to rise.
“We need kids. Kids make the world a better place,” one child said.
Praying for peace as they march through West Philadelphia, these children understand the implications of gun violence.
Look, I’m not about to bag on kids. Not when they’re legitimately calling for an end to something pretty much everyone thinks should come to an end. Well, everyone except the dipsticks carrying on with the violence, anyway.
But I do have a mild issue with these kinds of protests.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, people have a right to freedom of speech. They can express themselves however they want and I’ll support their right to do it, even if I disagree with virtually everything they have to say.
The problem is that for too many people, these marches are the totality of their efforts. They honestly think these demonstrations are going to make a difference. Worse, they’re telling kids that this can put a stop to it.
Folks, there’s not a single person on Earth who will change their actions based on an anti-gun violence protest says. Not a single gang-banger or mafia enforcer is going to stop on the way to murder someone, see a protest, and have a change of heart. Not a one.
Instead, much of the energy devoted to this would be better served getting down into the nitty-gritty of what causes people to seek out lifestyles that lead to violence. Make no mistake, most of this is lifestyle-based. It’s cultural in many ways. Working to change that would create more good than all of the marches out there.
What marches do, however, is allow people to virtue signal about how anti-violence they are without them actually having to do much of anything substantial. They can be “good citizens” while routinely ignoring the poverty around them or the cultural markers of violence that they either ignore or even profit off of.
You want to end violence? Great, so does everyone else, but if you really mean it, it’s time to stop rallying children and to start actually getting your hands dirty by undermining the structures that have led to that violence in the first place.