I have watched the tragedy in Florida closely over the last few days. As the politicians who happily took millions from the NRA have said, this is a tragedy no parent or child should ever endure. Children should always feel safe, especially while learning. Teachers should feel secure in their jobs. Administrative staff shouldn’t have to go to work thinking about how they would most likely encounter a shooter first. Eight-year old children shouldn’t be afraid to wear their light up shoes to school because they’d make them a target for a shooter. There should be no fear associated with school. Yet in America there is. There is great fear in every community, every day, by parents’ and children alike.
Now, I could start a big debate on Gun reform but I’m not going to. As long as the NRA is buying our politicians off there will be little change. But for argument’s sake, let me break down some of the campaign contributions received from the NRA to our leaders…
I’d like to add that Donald Trump has received $30+ million from the NRA, Paul Ryan has received more than $171,977, and Mitch McConnell has received more than $771,175. If you are wondering how influential these donations are- "In 2014, the NRA had a nearly perfect track record in its top races. In the ten races the NRA spent nearly a million dollars or more – eight Senate races and two House races – the candidate the NRA backed candidate won in every race except one."
Another point worthy of mentioning is that almost a week after this tragic shooting that took 17 lives in 6 minutes Florida officials voted down a bill that would make assault rifles illegal, instead voting pornography as a public health issue. It seems to me that they had the real public health issue at hand and failed our children with their vote. Many survivors of the shooting sat and watched as they voted down the bill. They didn’t go silently into the night though. They spoke out against it.
With that said, I want to talk about the students not the politicians. These remarkable individuals that have taken this tragedy and turned it into an opportunity to say, “NOT ONE MORE! WE WANT CHANGE NOW!” These amazing human beings that are using their voice for the change that some of the adults in their life have fallen silent on over the years.
These are the children most of us raised telling them daily that they had a voice and could do anything with that voice. They are showing us now that they heard us and understood all along. They are proving that teenagers aren't just Tipe-pod eating delinquents. They are showing us exactly how strong they are in the face of evil. They are destined to go down in history. They are what our future looks like and I couldn’t be prouder.
The world first took notice of the students’ voice’s in this with a speech given at a rally by a Miss Emma Gonzalez, a survivor and Senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (sight of the recent school shooting.) Emma’s voice was heard loud and clear as she called “BS” on the ability of the mentally ill to obtain a gun and the lack of progress in keeping our student’s safe. She spoke loudly and proudly as she declared, “NOT ONE MORE!”
|Picture Courtesy of Lalo Alcaraz|
Days later students held a lay-in in front of the White House. Protesting for gun control reform. In typical conservative fashion, these kids were attacked for their protest. Many adults wishing death on them, one in particular asking where a suicide bomber is when you need them. Another saying that we should take a bulldozer and push the children off a cliff. This has not silenced them. Not long after the lay-in protest students across the country walked out of their classrooms and marched the streets of their towns in protest for the same. They are protesting for the right to be safe in their schools, for a ban on assault rifles; and you know what, according to a MSNBC poll out on Feb. 20, 2018, 67% of Americans agree with what these children are asking for.
These victims turned advocates have been woken up. They are currently planning a mass walk out in April. These young adults are amazing and show how much good parenting and exceptional teaching can help a person make the right decisions. How the right influences in a young person’s life can lead to an uprising that nobody can ignore. This country is going to change. The question is, in what direction do we go from here?
I saw it said recently online that when your leaders act like children and your children act like leaders, you know change is coming… I’ll tell you one thing- I sure do feel the change and I embrace it for all it’s beauty, stolen innocence, and knowledge. Don't disregard these young people, don't disregard our future. They will make our laws one day. I, personally, can't wait for that day.
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