One of my goals at 40 was to become more involved in causes I believe in. With today’s political climate and where we live (metro DC area) this is something I plan to invest more effort in. I don’t need to wait until early retirement to make my voice heard. I’m participating in my first march today – and it will be on gun control and implementing common sense gun laws.
I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I found out about the first graders slaughtered at Sandy Hook. I was physically sick with the knowledge that these babies were murdered. I cried the whole way home to hug my own Miss Moe as tight as I could. Then I thought – surely, someone would do something to wrap some common sense restrictions around guns and not allow guns made for war to get into the hands of mentally ill people? Surely, someone would do something. Someone. Anyone. I didn’t know any of the children hurt or killed at that event, so I figured that anyone or someone would be anyone or someone else.
After weeks of political promises and “thoughts and prayers” a whole lot of nothing happened. Consequently, I didn’t think anything could change our collective minds about gun control if Sandy Hook couldn’t – what could? Then the kids at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida were attacked. Seventeen more children needlessly lost their lives, by the hands of someone who wasn’t even old enough to legally drink a beer.
These young survivors refuse to be silent, and have created a movement.
While I agree that many other factors play a role with the increase of violence (bullying, social media, broken mental health systems, violent video games, etc.), I can see NO reason why assault rifles, bump stocks, and weapons having the capability to kill mass amounts of people should be accessible to the public. War weapons are not for the general population they are for our law enforcement and trained professionals. I understand we are given the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment – and those rights were allotted to us when we had muskets – no one is trying to take away muskets.
I’m humbled that our roles have been reversed. Parents – we have one job. We are supposed to protect our children, and in gun control – we have failed. These days our children have “lockdown” drills, something that never happened when I was in school. Our babies are taught what to do in the event of an active shooter. Miss Moe’s lockdown drills consist of:
- Students locked in classrooms, turn off the lights, cover the windows and stay out of potential lines of fire
- Ignore fire alarms
- No one enters the school
- If kids are in trailers, they stay locked inside
Kids today become aware from a very young age that a school can be compromised and they will have to make a choice to fight, hide or flee for their lives. What kind of learning environment is this for a child? How can they feel safe and ready to learn knowing that they are not safe from an active shooter? This sounds like a war drill, not a drill for our children in a learning environment. Additionally, with social media, Miss Moe knows about shooting events at other schools as they unfold.
History is repeating itself. In the 60s and 70s the young people marched for their beliefs, and we’ve forced their hands to do it again. Since we won’t protect them, they’ve decided to protect themselves and future generations. I look forward to the day these politically active children will be afforded the right to vote; maybe then our lawmakers will listen. No one should go to school and worry that they may not come home. No parent should kiss their kid goodbye and think this may be the last time. Miss Moe is currently on a music education trip, so she will not be at the march, but I will stand in her place. I stand for her, and I stand with them.
Be the change that you wish to see in the world