Weekly Reads: The March for Our Lives, 15 Week Abortion Ban, and Other Crappy News

Hello Readers! It’s March 26th 2018 and it’s fucking freezing here in the Queen City. I’d like my spring now dammit!

This Saturday was the March for Our Lives. Organized by the amazing survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting, hundreds of thousands of protesters descended on the nations capitol to call for reform of our gun control laws.  Organized with amazing speed, largely on social media, there were companion marches across the globe. Rolling Stone has a marvelous pictorial essay.  It was likely the largest political demonstration in history to be organized by people who could not yet vote.   A friend of the network and awesome atheist and humanist activist Josiah has pics from the march in Omaha.  I had to referee a 9-year-olds birthday sleepover so I missed the march in Cincinnati. I’m so incredibly proud of these kids. They are going to change the world.

The Parkland kids keep checking their privilege. 

Ahead of the March for our Lives rally, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg said the media’s biggest mistake while covering the school’s shooting was “not giving black students a voice.”

“My school is about 25 percent black, but the way we’re covered doesn’t reflect that.” Hogg said during an Axios event Friday.
Hogg, one of the core members of the #NeverAgain Movement, hasn’t shied away from acknowledging his privilege. In fact, “privilege” came up in many of the speeches at Saturday’s march in Washington, D.C.
While taking the stage again — this time before hundreds of thousands — Hogg and other students made sure to include victims of gun violence from across other communities.
These kids aren’t perfect though. Their manifesto of policy proposals is ambitious and sweeping, but it also shows some dangerous blind spots…

What I cannot sanction are proposals that would further criminalize people and color and the mentally ill. The manifesto’s calls to increase funding for school security and change privacy laws to allow mental healthcare providers to communicate with law enforcement are short-sighted and dangerous.

White gun control activists have always struggled to understand that gun violence includes state violence. While mass shootings are perhaps the most nationally visible acts of gun violence in our nation, our military and militarized police force have more systemic power to enact violence via firearms than any mass shooter ever could. And unlike mass shooters, police officers face no consequences for their gun violence. They are not punished for routinely slaughtering unarmed Black Americans; instead, Black bodies are slandered and their deaths at the hands of the police are justified by the media.

One response to the Parkland massacre that is particularly misguided is the idea of Walking Up instead of Walking Out. Miri at Brute Reason takes a rhetorical sledgehammer to that nonsense with Please Do Not “Walk Up” to People who Might Murder You. She even provides a handy visual aid…

What kids know, and what many adults apparently quickly forget, is twofold: 1) Social exclusion will be a part of our lives in some way no matter what; and 2) if people want to exclude you, there is nothing—no rule, no requirement, no sugar coating—that will hide that fact from you, or make it sting any less. In fact, one of the most hurtful and memorable forms of bullying a child can experience is having their classmates pretend to like them, care about them, or include them (to the praise of parents and teachers, probably) only to yank that positive regard away. This isn’t a new thing. Hasn’t anyone seen Carrie?

Lawmakers and pundits continue to try and deflect attention away from gun control, towards just about anything else. Perrenial hopeless Presidential candidate and the best Google search term ever Rick Santorum thinks that these kids shouldn’t be calling for better gun laws, they should be learning CPR! Leading my wife to respond…

“Rick Santorum says the protesters should do something more useful like take a CPR class… I dunno, somehow I don’t think yelling “Annie, Annie, are you okay?” is going to stop an active shooter in the school…

Others continue to push for the worst idea ever, arming teachers. This despite evidence that even trained police officers only have an 18% hit rate in gunfights!

Mississippi passed the nations most restrictive abortion legislation, barring the procedure after 15 weeks.  Not to be outdone by the mad scientist’s laboratory of democracy down south, both Ohio and Kentucky Republicans are proposing complete bans on abortion. 

Did you know what an isolation box is? Yes Google, I thought it had something to do with the recording industry too. So I was appalled to read this article about special needs students being forced into isolation boxes as punishment for being disruptive. 

Dungeons and Dragons is preparing to add gender fluidity to elves… Cool!

Everyone should watch this…

Featured Image Credit: Shawn Thew / EPA

Louis Doench

Lou Doench is a 52 year old father of three. Twelve years ago he married the coolest woman in the world and gave up the lucrative career of being a photography student to become a stay at home husband and Dad, or SAHD. An atheist geek, or a geeky atheist if you prefer, Lou likes reading, photography, video gaming, disc golf, baseball and Dr. Who. He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an excellent home cook, not that his children would know because they only eat Mac & Cheese. Follow Lou on Twitter @blotzphoto or check out his photography at

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