The Turning Point

This past weekend high school students rallied in every major city in the U.S. to demand new policies for gun control. They have declared that enough is enough. They have had enough of seeing their friends and others their age die by bullets.  They’ve had enough of seeing people needlessly die by gunfire at the hands of those who should have never been given a gun permit. They have had enough of seeing people of color being terrorized and killed by trigger-happy police officers who are always ready to declare their own fear to justify their murderous intentions.

Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi Civil Rights activist in the 60s coined the phrase “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

These youngsters today are sick and tired of being sick and tired.  They are sick and tired of being afraid to go to school.  Sick and tired of having to look over their shoulder when they should be having fun.  Sick and tired of wondering if they and their loved ones will make it home alive and in one piece.  Sick and tired of the almost daily news broadcasts of people being killed by police for no reason.

They are tired of having to live a lifestyle that has now been deemed normal.   There is nothing normal about hearing gunshots at the playground.  It is not normal hearing gunshots right before falling asleep, or being pleasantly surprised at not hearing gunshots, screams, and cries for help on a given day.  This has become a part of the normal day-to-day routine for many of the youth in this country.  And they are sick and tired.

They are demanding gun reform, and they know that it is possible because other countries have implemented these reforms with large success.

The crazy thing is their biggest opposition are adults, and I don’t mean just the politicians. The politicos are defending the large sums of money they are getting from the NRA.  Some politicians are so intent on keeping the “contributions” they get from the NRA that they prefer to offer thoughts and prayers and make ridiculous suggestions, like arming teachers or having students learn CPR rather than consent to gun reform.  But then there is Jim Bob from the boonies who gets nothing from the NRA and yet, still insists like a child, that he has to have his gun.   They are quick to cite the Second Amendment, which I’m sure many of them have not actually read or understood.  They insist on their right to have a gun to use as they please.  And let’s face it unless you are severely paranoid, you still would have no use for a gun because you would be too afraid to leave your home.

The ease with which a person can obtain a gun in this country is alarming.  Any person can walk into a particular large chain store (I chose not to name the store, but we all which chain I’m talking about) and purchase a gun from among a large variety of choices.  There is little to no paperwork, no psychological evaluation, no long-term process to endure before obtaining a firearm.  In this country, it is easier to buy a gun than it is to buy a house, a car, or get an increase on your credit card limit.

And while the kids in this country were marching within their respective cities, there were rallies around the world of people showing their support for this new generation that has chosen to rise up and not sit on the sidelines in the shadow of the status quo.  And by doing that, they were letting the politicians and the NRA know that the world is watching.

Things are changing in this country and these youngsters are leading the way.  They are the future voters (many will be eligible to vote in 2020), future policymakers, and future business leaders.  I stand with them and I applaud them for taking a stand.