American Gun Protests

It occurred to me this morning that when I was a child, there were very similar protests against gun violence in the US.  Young people were being killed in large numbers by military assault style rifles and the youth of America took to the streets in large numbers to protest.  Of course, this was the 1960s, and the students being killed were soldiers in Vietnam.

Somehow the older generation at the time, the Greatest Generation, did not see this as a problem.  They had gone to war, or at least their peers did, and some of them died.  The younger generation saw the world differently.  They didn’t see a communist Vietnam as a threat to America.  It must be pointed out that the people in favor of the war in Vietnam largely weren’t the ones doing the fighting, and the ones opposed were largely the ones dying.  Very similar to today.

To pile the irony in deeper, today’s pro-gun crowd are the same generation that protested the war in Vietnam in their youth, with almost identical complaints.

Of course, the youth movement of the 1960s did not achieve its aims, at least in the short term.  Nixon was re-elected in a landslide and the war in Vietnam would not end until 1974.  It was largely believed that the children of the 1960s, even with their huge demographic advantage, abandoned politics after these defeats.  They would not go quietly, though, and it is hard to think of any part of the culture not dominated by the Baby Boomers of the intervening decades.  We all live in their world today.

Best of luck to the kids.  One thing is certain, they will win in the war of attrition.  May they build a better world than their parents did.

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