The mobilized students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High have inspired the entire country. And while we wait on legislators to pass meaningful gun control, *crickets* *barn owl* why not try to pass something else in the meantime to show these students we care about them and their concerns? Like lowering the voting age. Here’s why 16-year-olds voting could be good for democracy. Ever since a gunman killed 17 students with an AR-15 in Parkland, Florida, survivors have done a whole lot more than think and pray. They have gone on national TV and mobilized people around the country to protest walk out, do sit-ins and die-ins, and even had the guts to confront their pro-gun Senator face to face: “Senator Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA in the future?” *cheers* He couldn’t. Unlike pretty much every other mass shooting, where Americans get shamed for talking about gun control Until we forget it ever happened, these students are making sure the country does not forget about them. “How long do you think you will keep doing this?” “We’re millennials and we love complaining more than any other generation.” “This generation is used to getting answers right away. You think they’re gonna wait for six months or a year for anybody— congress or anybody that needs to make the right call?” Yea. In a way, youth impatience and entitlement is paying off brilliantly. Think about it. These teens have never had to wait for an answer they couldn’t immediately get from Google while ordering a pizza from an app and facetiming a crush in Oregon they made out with one time at summer camp. You think they have time to wait to get weapons of war out of their schools? Uh uh. To them, gun control should be as easy as the Dominoes app. Hold the bump stocks, side of registries, hey you guys want extra background checks? But because they’re just a bunch of kids with no political clout some are wondering why they should be taken into consideration at all. Just listen to Florida lawmaker Elizabeth Porter as she argued against the Parkland students’ demands for gun reform. “We’ve been told we need to listen to the children and do what the children ask. Are there any children on this floor? Are there any children making laws? Do we allow the children to tell us that we should pass a law that says ‘no homework’? The adults make the laws because we have the age, we has the wisdom, and we have the experience. Wait wait wait We has the wisdom?! Way to instill confidence. Trust us, we has wrotten the laws before cause we is the law-yers and we are gonna brang you lawgislation And the idea that teens can’t vote so who cares about them was echoed by guy who was just told he can’t eat crayons anymore, Tucker Carlson. “So if they’re too young to buy guns why should they be making my gun laws?” “They’re not making your gun laws–” “They’re not citizens, they’re children. They’re not 18. They’re Americans, but they don’t have the full rights of citizenship because they’re not adults. They can’t drink alcohol, a lot of them can’t drive cars, you don’t want them to buy guns and they can’t vote.” Plus, everyone knows that bullets can only hurt you when you turn 18 … You know, it’s amazing, where his empathy ends is just where his stupidity begins. He truly is a douchebag carousel. And yet he and Elizabeth-has-the-wisdom-Porter manage to bring up an interesting point. Most teens can’t vote. But they are old enough to be shot at and die, not to mention own rifles and shotguns in 30 states. So maybe the question is: Should teens be able to vote? Why not lower the voting age to 16? In most national elections around the world, like in the U.S., you have to be 18 to vote. But in some countries, it is 16, including Austria, Brazil and Argentina. And in 2014 beginning with their vote on independence, Scotland began allowing 16-year-olds to vote for the simple reason stated by this lawmaker: “If we’re prepared to send people, young people, to the front line, and indeed to take their taxes, why should they not indeed have a say in what is basically about their future?” And that makes sense. A lot of teens work and pay taxes. And the injustice of being able to fight in a war that you don’t have a say in is exactly why President Nixon signed the 26th amendment into law, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. And the sick reality is that today with the amount of school shootings, it’s almost as if wars have come home. At least the weapons have. So why not lower the voting age again? Three towns in Maryland have already allowed 16-year-olds to vote in local elections. And yet every time the debate crops up, you always hear the same arguments. “I know kids in this age group and they are dumb as dirt when it comes to politics. I wouldn’t put them in charge of their allowance.” “I remember how I was at 16, I couldn’t have voted for a dog catcher, I was so naive.” “Young people are stupid. Have you ever spoken to them? If we let them vote, they’re gonna vote for the party guy in the Hawaiian shirt.” Sure, and when we let adults vote, they vote for the guy in the baseball hat who needs a cheat sheet to show sympathy. Remember, this is the generation that had to sit on the sidelines as the country elected a corrupt reality TV star with no political experience. And if their parents couldn’t protect them from that, why should they trust them to take care of them at all? For all kids know, there *is* a monster living under their beds and masturbating actually *improves* eyesight. Maybe part of the reason teens are seen as not caring about things that affect them is that adults keep telling them they’re too stupid and too young to care about things that affect them. When the reality is, they do care. Just ask this 17-year-old who campaigned to lower the voting age in San Francisco. “It really matters to me when funding for parks gets changed. It really matters to me when the minimum wage gets changed and that affects my community.” Our country has a history of smart, politically active teens. Like in the 60s when teenagers and children marched in Birmingham to protest segregation. Or the 15-year-old who recently developed a system to detect early stages of pancreatic cancer. He explains why teens are ready to make change. “Teenagers we’re at this epitome of creativity where we can dream up wild ideas but we have enough knowledge to make our ideas a reality.” Yes, not to mention the knowledge to make exquisite dishes every week on Master Chef Jr. “On top you will see the puff pastry, and then under that you’ll see the crepe, and then you’ll see the mushroom duxelle, the prosciutto, and then the meat.” OK, but I make a mean bag of Trader Joe’s Gyoza… I cook By the way not only is the discussion about lowering the voting age patronizing and stacked against teens, but those who vote on whether or not to lower the voting age are already of voting age. Which is a cruel Catch 22. And also makes you wonder who in these 30 states voted for the age of consent to be 16? I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess not 16 year olds. And having teens vote might mean good things for democracy. Studies show voter turnout is habitual, so perhaps the earlier you get someone to vote, the more likely they will later on. One study even showed that when young people vote, their parents are more likely to vote too. In some ways, teens might be more equipped to vote than adults. Think about it: they just went through the unit on how a bill becomes a law whereas their Gam Gam just went through a red light. It makes sense that entrenched political power would be afraid of the youth vote. Because young people tend to be open-minded and vote liberal. It’s that crazy thing they have … what’s it called? Hope. Polling and voting trends suggest that if 16-year-olds in the UK had been allowed to vote whether to exit the EU, Brexit wouldn’t have happened. And in the 2016 U.S. primary election, more than 2 million voters under 30 voted for Bernie Sanders. That’s more youth votes in the primary than Clinton and Trump received combined. Bernie woulda won Yet we shouldn’t assume that all young people are necessarily liberal. In Kansas six teenagers are running for governor, because they were smart enough to figure out that the dumb adults who wrote the laws didn’t write in an age minimum to run. And only one is running as a democrat. The deep-state globalist shill. No matter what side of the political spectrum they’re on, the one thing all teens have — that adults lack — is the ability to not give a f*ck about authority. “One of the best things about our generation, sure, people think we’re lazy and on our phones all the time. We don’t respect you just ‘cause you have Senator in front of your name.” And that’s really helpful in pointing out the bullsh*t around things like gun laws. “What do you think about this idea of arming teachers?” “It’s stupid.” “Why?” “Douglas ran out of paper for like two weeks in the school year, and now all of a sudden they have $400 million to pay for teachers to get trained to arm themselves? Really?” Really. Teens are the realest. And considering the world they’ve been handed — with massive inequality, rising sea levels, and a president who the NRA spent $30 million to elect, perhaps we should make it easier for them to have a say in the world they’re supposed to inherit. “To all of the generations before us, we sincerely accept your apology, and we appreciate that you’re willing to let us rebuild the world that you f*cked up.” Mm. So if conservatives are so upset by teens in the streets demanding their rights, give them the right to vote. And if they manage to pass laws banning AR-15s or banning homework, more power to them. Cause it will have meant that in a way, they did their homework.