If you are a teenager, it must be frustrating to watch your elders fumble around with the controls of democracy.

Like Grandpa with a new iPad, we don’t know what to push, and settle into the same old stalemates.

Every once in a while, we need a youngster to grab that thing out of our hands and make it work like it’s supposed to, so we can look on in amazement.

We might be entering one of those moments this week, when high school students all over America are planning to walk out of school in protest of our collective failure to reduce gun violence.

A number of Maine students plan to join the protest. Some will have the support of their school’s administration, while others will have to walk out in defiance. Either way, what the adults do shouldn’t matter much. Led by the remarkable student survivors of the Feb. 14 massacre in Parkland, Florida, young people are demanding action from all levels of government in ways not seen since the anti-Vietnam War protests 50 years ago.

Today’s young people have watched long enough while we failed to make progress on the issues that matter to them, and they are not much interested in what we have to tell them about why it can’t be done.

They don’t want to hear that we have all the laws we need or that some lobbies are too powerful to take on.

And they really don’t want to hear that the “active shooter” situation that they have been rehearsing in lockdown drills since kindergarten is an unavoidable price of freedom.

While they may not be experienced in the horse-trading and compromise that goes into passing legislation, they are miles ahead of their elders when it comes to mobilizing their troops with the tools of social media.

The power that these kids have already seized by capturing the American imagination is terrifying.

Right-wing Republican lawmakers in Florida defied the National Rifle Association last week and voted in favor of a gun control package that included a prohibition on firearm sales to buyers under the age of 21 and waiting periods for new gun sales. They obviously made the calculation that the humiliation that would come from looking at 17 dead bodies and doing nothing was greater than what the gun lobby could do to them.

Democrats who had hoped to tiptoe around the gun issue in this election season should be scared, too. These kids are not going to be satisfied with symbolic gestures.

They were satisfied with the bill that is now sitting on Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s desk because it doesn’t ban assault weapons and it does permit the arming of some school employees.

It was not a perfect bill from their perspective. But to anyone old enough to remember the NRA-fueled paralysis that followed the massacre of 6-year-olds in Newtown, Connecticut, the fact that anything at all passed looks like a miracle.

If the activists seem unreasonable, we should remember that high school students learn how politics and government are supposed to be, while the rest of us have learned what it has become.

When they see that we can’t make it work the way the teacher explained it in social studies, they are not very impressed with us. And when they see their friends injured and killed as a result of our ineptitude, they get mad, as they should.

This movement won’t be co-opted or stifled by adults. Its only limit will be the amount of energy that the students have to keep fighting, and so far, that has not lagged.

A shot of youthful revolution is just what you need in a democracy that suffers from special interest money clogged arteries and dim vision.

Systems that can’t adapt don’t last. Governments that can’t reform collapse.

If this isn’t the moment for a new generation to grab the controls, we all better hope that moment is coming soon.

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