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Notes from a sidewalk.

Left the gym, bought some milk and some cat food, and started the walk toward home. My head was in a cloud—I have some travel coming up, my first long trip since the election, and, well, I’m a fretter.

I was still mid-funk when I looked up, and realized I’d walked full-on into a rally of high school students that had overtaken a nearby square.

WE CALL BS

There were hundreds of students, and dozens of signs, each scrawled in marker on cardboard or construction paper.

SHUT DOWN SMITH & WESSON

I stood among them for a second, the crowd abuzz with happy chatter. Toward the far end of the square, there was some light applause. If there was a speaker, I couldn’t hear them.

ARE WE NEXT

I stood there, unsure if I should raise my fist, or clap excitedly, or just keep grinning like a jackal, and then realized each of those options was equally creepy. I turned back toward home, stepping around a group of students chatting amicably with three police officers.

BAN THE NRA

One of the students signalled that they should head back toward school, and extended their fist; one of the cops smiled, and bumped it with his own fist, saying “all right now.”

GUN CONTROL NOW

One group of students were leaving the rally. One young woman, her HONK IF YOU HATE THE NRA sign held high so cars could see it, stopped to pick up a piece of litter. Her friends threw a chorus of “eww” and “grooooss” back at her.

She yelled back defiantly, “Littering’s bad, okAY?” She then stood back up, running to catch her friends, her sign held high.


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