What we are seeing play out in the aftermath of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, should come as no surprise. The children of 2018 America have turned into activists overnight and they are driving policy decisions in multiple levels of government. The current target is the Second Amendment — a lynchpin holding in place our other guaranteed rights under the Constitution.
The Bill of Rights used to be adored by nearly all Americans. They were written in ink to signal to future generations what was to be set apart as our sacred, God-given rights. They were a clear message to anyone in this country as a line of demarcation on where the federal government should back away before it sought to infringe.
But few members of this generation even know the terms "constitutional" or "sacred" and even fewer know what's truly codified in them.
I suspect activist teens aren't unique to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (which was named after the early environmentalist). I'm guessing that the same percentage of radical teens on that South Florida campus exists among many of the 22,000+ high schools in the nation. Extrapolate that number around the union and that is a formidable army of publicly educated youths ready to steer this country down a path we haven't even imagined until recently.
Think about these facts about this generation of high school-aged youths:
● The politically correct culture that blossomed in the 1990s was well entrenched by the time today's teens were born into our society.
● They were mostly born after the planes hit the twin towers and the Pentagon on Sept. 11 and thus have only known a country where constitutional principles have been an afterthought
● They are of a generation that has rarely been told no and have been given annual participation trophies for merely showing up.
● They have never known a world without the instant gratification of smart phones.
● Their memories of presidencies are those based on a cult of personality above all else.
● They came of age while we debated which sex should be allowed in which bathrooms.
● They are told (by leaders especially) that policies and laws should be based on "feelings" and "needs" and not on what was intended by the founders or what is limited by our Constitution.
To criticize them on any level has always been a cardinal sin whether in their endeavors or following a tragedy when they have clearly overstepped the bounds of decency and common courtesy.
We have created monsters that we've set up to fail.
For more than a century, this nation has been led down a path of dangerous progressive principles that seek to empower the government above all else. Ours is now a world where the values of the collective are given more respect than the rights of the individual. Independence of thought isn't allowed in many circles.
This trend is nothing new. It started in our schools, beginning a slow infection of our youth around the turn of the 20th century and has been growing with white-hot intensity ever since. President Woodrow Wilson was in charge of Princeton University where in 1909 he gave a speech titled "The Meaning of a Liberal Education." In it he stated that education's main goal was to make sons "as unlike their fathers as possible." Mission accomplished. In reality, our American experiment is being led by people as unlike the founding fathers as possible.
Perhaps the biggest tragedy in all of this is that we're running out of liberties to save. And sadly, the next generation can't stop running to get in front a camera so they can brag to us about how they are destroying their freedoms (and their ability to defend them).
And yes, they will outlive us (as one of their spokespersons has said), but that means that they'll live longer with the consequences of their short-sightedness.
Keith Malinak is the producer of Pat Gray Unleashed, which airs from 12-3pm on TheBlaze. You can find him on Tiwtter at @theblazekeith.