How about a little gratitude?

After a terrible tragedy, it is understandable how some high school students would be advocating for gun control, especially when those teenagers saw their friends and classmates murdered by an evil man. I do not question their sincerity, but the arrogance of some of the advocates has been irritating and does not help their cause. One of the more high-profile teens said this:

“I mean this sincerely, I really do, to all the generations before us we sincerely accept your apology. We appreciate that you are willing to let us rebuild the world that you fucked up.”

This is the arrogance of youth. You are going to rescue the world from the old? It is a typical attitude, but the person speaking (and his cohorts) would nonetheless do well to learn some humility. What exactly did previous generations mess up?

Previous generations gave us a free country founded on civil liberties and a limited government that could not trample our human rights. Previous generations built a prosperous economy that gives us material wealth, comfort, technology and entertainment options beyond the wildest dreams of anyone who lived even thirty years ago. Previous generations have invested in schools were you can learn in safety. (School shootings are, despite the headlines, very rare.) Is that what was messed up? Is that what you want to fix?

Previous generations built strong infrastructure that allowed our economy to grow, and that you inherited despite not paying a time for it or producing a single drop of sweat to build it. Previous generations bled and died to defeat Nazi Germany and then held off the evil of the Soviet Empire. Previous generations fought against Muslim terrorists determined to force you to live under Sharia Law and murder anyone who does not abide by Islamist theocracy. Is that what was messed up? Is that what you want to fix?

How about having a little gratitude for your many blessings and opportunities instead of being a smug little spoiled brat?

I thought I had all the answers when I was 18, but I did not. There were a lot of things I did not understand, on economics and especially on things like limited government, due process and civil liberties. I had strong opinions, but I was not well informed or experienced enough to back them up. I look back at some of the positions I took even twenty years ago and I shake my head. The teenagers of today may contribute, but to argue they will fix a world that old people – Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers the World War II generation – allegedly messed up is arrogance and pride backed by nothing of substance. Have a little humility.

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