OAKLAND -- After spending his All-Star break in Hawaii, Warriors coach Steve Kerr returned to his routine Wednesday feeling better about himself, his team and, moreover, his country.
Oh, he’s still disgusted by the events of Valentine’s Day, when 17 children and adults were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
But one week after closing a pregame news conference by his expressing disdain for politicians voting in lockstep with the National Rifle Association, Kerr is pleased that students in Florida and beyond are pleading for common-sense gun laws.
“It’s phenomenal,” Kerr said after practice. “What those kids are doing is heroic, it’s heartfelt and I think it’s the beginning of some change. I really believe that.
“I’m amazed every time I see them on TV or online. It’s heartbreaking but inspiring all at once.”
In the immediate wake of the shooting, Kerr addressed the issue and reminded people that they have the power to facilitate action in the face of perpetual inaction.
“It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death, day after day, in schools,” he said last week. “It doesn’t matter that people are being shot at a concert, at a movie theater. It’s not enough, apparently, to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country, to actually do anything. And that’s demoralizing.
“But we can do something about it. We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people’s lives and not just bow down to the NRA because they’ve financed their campaign.”
Students and parents across the country have started pushing back against politicians whose campaigns receive financial support from the NRA. They’re urging a change in previous voting habits. And, short of that, they’re asking voters to usher them out of office.
“I feel very encouraged,” Kerr said Wednesday. “We’ve got a generation that’s grown up with these school shootings and mass shootings and they’re fed up.
“Historically, it’s the young generation that has initiate change.”
Kerr then compared the current groundswell to that which occurred a half century ago, when the nation’s youth fought against the ravages of the war in Vietnam.
“When you think about the Vietnam War, it was all the old white guys who kept sending all the troops over to fight this ridiculous war,” he said, pointing out the activism of the 1960s.
“It’s the young people of the country now who are going to create the change that we need in terms of how we handle gun violence and how we do our best to curb it. It’s amazing to watch.”