When I sit down to write, I try to be in a centered place. I don’t like writing from a place of anger because it feels like that can often get in the way of what I’m trying to say.
But this time is different. I have tried to wait for the rage and deep sadness I feel about the Stoneman shooting to pass, but it just won’t. I think I have moved past the place where I can find a centered place on this topic, and I think I moved past it long ago.
I thought Sandy Hook would be the watershed moment. Babies were ripped almost in half by high-caliber ammunition. But no.
I thought the GOP leadership, as well as the law enforcement officers there to protect them, getting shot up at a baseball practice might inspire some empathy among them. But no.
I thought just the body count alone in Las Vegas might at least get us a ban on bump stocks. Yet again, no.
As Americans, we get on our high horse and look down our noses at warlords who put weapons in the hands of children and send them to fight their wars. “How despicable, how horrible!” We sit comfortably in our hypocrisy while we allow our own children to be led like lambs to the slaughter.
Today, in the wake of the Stoneman shootings, I saw two news stories that once again made my blood boil.
The first one was a Christian school in Florida auctioning off two rifles, one an assault style weapon, to benefit their golf team. THEIR GOLF TEAM, for Christ’s sake.
The second was a group of 3rd graders selling raffle tickets for an AR-15 for a fundraiser.
These kids didn’t come up with these wildly inappropriate ideas, the adults in their lives did.
Which brings me to the point of this blog, and the ray of hope I’d like to share with you.
The kids who survived in Florida have found a way to channel their grief and fear. They are DEMANDING that we adults, who have failed them so miserably, get our act together and protect them.
They are speaking their truth, and their voices are booming and insistent.
Over 150,000 children have been exposed to gun violence in their school. And the counter is still ticking. Their souls have been written on in an indelible way.
Even more students regularly experience the fear of participating in active shooter drills in case their school should become the scene of the next mass casualty incident. Just dwell on that for a moment. Dwell on the fact that our students must regularly, perhaps even daily, have to think about how they survive their school day without being murdered. We are also writing on their souls in an indelible way.
Our children have had enough. The children in Parkland are rising up to demand action, and students across the country are joining them.
They have more courage in their pinky fingers than the sum of everyone in Congress who refuses to take action.
And these children… These children who we have forced to deal with the most difficult of adult situations.
These children are the next generation of voters.
These children are the next generation of activists.
These children are the next generation of leaders.
And these little children, THEY have the courage to lead the way.
Peace and love, yall