On the heels of the latest school shooting in Florida, students have started speaking out in favor of more thorough gun-control policies en masses. Walkouts have been staged. Plenty of tweets have been sent. Teenagers are doing TV interviews, addressing and verbalizing profound issues with the poise and polish that almost makes you forget they’re, well, teenagers.
This influx of outspoken and proactive high schoolers has left many uncomfortable or, in the case of a few blowhards, outright angry. But not Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.
Indeed, he’s one of the NBA’s most candid figures when it comes to talking about politicized issues, including gun control. But his support of what’s being spearheaded by students isn’t necessarily about his own views. As he told reporters, per The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, he simply sees the value in the younger generation getting involved and offering their invaluable slant on the matter:
“I feel very encouraged. We’ve got a generation that’s grown up with these school shootings and mass shootings and they’re fed up. Historically, it’s a young generation that has to initiate change. You think about the Vietnam war.
“All the old white guys who kept sending the troops over to fight this ridiculous war, it was all the young people who protested, had to make change, communicate. It’s the young people in the country now who are going to create the change we need in terms of how we handle gun violence and how we do our best to curb it. It’s amazing to watch.”
This holds true across the board, but Kerr’s sentiments carry a particular weight when we’re talking about gun violence in schools. These kids are the ones most impacted by the imminent threat. They’re on, for want of better phrasing, the frontline.
What they say and how they feel should matter. It does matter. Anyone, from either side of the fence, who can’t see that ought to take a good, long, hard look in the mirror.