Their names have become etched in the minds of Americans. Columbine (1999), San Bernardino (2015), Sandy Hook (2012), Virginia Tech (2007), Orlando (2016), Las Vegas (2017) and Parkland (2018). Senseless mass shootings killing or wounding 208 innocent children and adults, and that’s only part of a growing list of shootings in America because it’s just as easy in some states to buy an automatic weapon as it is to buy a quart of milk. Since Columbine, the questions remain the same for a majority of Americans. How is it that you can’t board a plane with a bottle of water, but you can walk into a gun store and purchase a military style assault weapon? The debate over gun control in America has been going on without any significant progress for nearly two decades with enough finger pointing and rationale that our elected officials have become paralyzed, and adults have become numbed.
However, now there are young students that are mobilizing across our country to make their voices heard about the need for common sense policies about comprehensive background checks, banning assault weapons, and getting weapons out of the hands of people suffering from mental illnesses that might be associated with violent or anti-social behaviors. The movement being created by the millennial and post-millennial generations is reminiscent of the early 1970s when my generation was protesting against the draft lottery and Viet Nam war.
I believe or I hope that our country and its citizens are at a critical turning point as it pertains to gun control and the young people planning to March on Washington, D.C. on March 26th and stage a nationwide Walk Out in April to mark the anniversary of Columbine, remain vocal, active and organized in leading this movement. At this time in our history, we have something to learn from our children in relation to gun control and ending the cycle of school shootings. We owe it to them to show our support, and encourage their activism. We need to guide them in asking the right questions and demanding appropriate responses from the people we voted into elected office on all government levels. Many of this new generation of social activists will be eligible to vote in 2018 and 2020. They have the power and will gain the influence to elect their next Congressman, state and local legislators, and our next President. As they “March for their Lives,” we can hope that their message is finally heard for all of us.
As an organization founded by a social activist, and dedicated to improving the quality of life for all people in need, we stand behind the students in America calling for change.
February 22, 2018