There is a headline in The Hill that deserves some looking into:
From outside the gun debate raging in America at the moment, it might seem more than a bit odd that a student who survived a mass shooting would be defending one of the police officers who failed to prevent the deaths of his classmates. But it’s simple, really.
David Hogg is so caught up in the fight that he’s losing perspective of the cause. Which really isn’t a fault of his; we all do it to some extent – he’s just a very stark example of it, which we would do well to pay attention to, lest we do the same.
Hogg is seeing how many conservatives, or otherwise gun supporters, are pointing to the the school resource officer who neglected to respond to the shots being fired in the school as a failure of the system and a defense for why guns shouldn’t be banned. As un-nuanced as one can describe the issue at stake. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, basically; that if Hogg acknowledges that the school resource officer didn’t do his job, he would be falling on the side of the NRA that he’s fighting against.
But the school resource officer is not on his side. Far from it; Hogg was almost killed because of the officer, his friends suffered because of that officer, his schoolmates died because of that officer. He is not Hogg’s friend or ally.
Anyone who cared about the children in that school couldn’t help but be incensed by the lack of action from not only that police officer, but the additional three more police officers from the same department who also failed to even attempt to stop the school shooting. I don’t mean this to imply that Hogg doesn’t care about, well, himself, because he’s one of the victims here – that’s a disgusting tactic that he’s using I refuse to stoop to.
What I am pointing out, though, is that Hogg’s cause is the welfare of the students, that they shouldn’t be getting shot in classrooms. As such, it would be expected of him to condemn any action that put students in danger. But Hogg has been caught up in the gun control debate and is effectively on one of the sides; and because the failure of the officer doesn’t fit the narrative of the side he’s on, he is giving up on his own interest to stick to the narrative.
That’s how powerful narratives can be. This is why it’s very important to remember what the cause you are standing for is, and not get to caught up in the narrative of how you’re standing for it. The din of battle is deafening; the fog of war blinding – even when it comes to fighting over and for ideas. Don’t be so focused on the battle that you forget what the war is about.