KEEP US SAFE said a sign held by a young child. Keep us safe. We should have a right, these young students say, to go to school, to college and know, KNOW we are safe. So we can study, learn, grow and be ready for life. And so they should. And so should we all. Safe all Americans should be from violence, evil, malice and immoral human beings, all of them.
We and the world witnessed a rising up of young people in perhaps the largest protest of violence and killing since the Vietnam War. There were marches and protests in some 800 cities. The largest march occurred in Washington, D.C. where an estimated 500,000 people gathered to demand new laws from our federal Congress for the control of guns and an end to violence and killing in the wake of the February 14 school shootings in Parkland, Florida. Parkland itself saw more than 20,000 people gathering and marching, filling Pine Trails Park near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people last month. Those students and supporters chanted over and again:
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Hoping to send a message to Congress and the world that the killings must stop. And, if they don’t, these students warned:
OUR BALLOTS WILL STOP BULLETS
And for the America in which these students live, that would be one great thing, would it not? How great would it be if the youth of our country and especially those 18 years of age and older who are privileged to vote would step up, learn the political process, study the Constitution, become active in state, county and local political and social affairs and become effective agents in:
CHANGING THE WORLD
It seems obvious that those remaining creatures in the swamp, as President Trump calls them, will forever live in stalemate and deadlock, protecting themselves and their power and in so many ways not doing the right thing for America. Enough is enough, say these young students and tens of millions of Americans agree.
The emotion, the passion, the will to change are all good, very good. But more is required. These students as they study must learn about politics. They must learn the Constitution and all that it means. They must understand the federal government, the Congress House and Senate, the judiciary and how it works and what its powers are, and of course the President and the unbelievable powers vested in one man. The young of America must learn the issues. They must study economics. They must understand the unbelievable debt which they now inherit from us, namely some $121 trillion, TRILLION dollars. They must begin to understand how that will affect their lives. They must learn the rules, especially the federal rules which govern education. They must learn states’ rights and federalism. They must understand the checks and balances of the Constitution and perhaps most importantly, they must learn that the federal government, all of Washington, D.C., all of it, functions under the Constitution with LIMITED POWERS AND WITH ENUMERATED POWERS ONLY! They must become active in their state as a result, which is a treasure trove of power and rights, and their counties, and where they live, and perhaps most importantly for them:
THEIR VERY OWN SCHOOL DISTRICTS
And school boards, and the commissioners who serve on those boards. Then and only then can the passion of the MARCH FOR OUR LIVES have real meaning, enduring meaning, longevity and effectiveness. Only then no matter how many marches there are.
And it is vitally important that these young students, young voters not be caught up in:
The young must not be seen as a ONE-ISSUE-VOTING-BLOCK, against violence, and guns, and killings, and for safety and security only, as important as all of those are. They must become fully educated, so that they can be fully involved in the political process for the good of all Americans and for our great country. All, all things American and not just one.
On behalf of President Donald Trump, Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters stated the following:
“We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights today. Keeping our children safe is a top priority of the President (Trump).”
And indeed it is. The President has indicated that he is in favor of reasonable gun control and in fact, said Trump, it is time for the President to step up and take a leadership role in making those controls happen. It would seem that the vast majority of Americans agree. Now, we the people wait for action like it seems we wait for action over and over again on the things that really matter. Perhaps we should all hope that these young people, now by the millions, 18 years of age and over will in fact step up, and vote, and vote intelligently to make certain that their:
BALLOTS WILL IN FACT STOP THE BULLETS
Every reasonable American has to be for that, don’t you think?
Some 150,000 people marched in New York City-Manhattan. They carried graphic signs:
PROTECT MY LIFE OVER YOUR GUNS
BOOKS NOT BULLETS
And perhaps the most impactful carried by a young girl perhaps 5 or 6 years old:
AM I NEXT?
“No you are not,” shouted Mary Anne Jacobs, a survivor of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newton, Connecticut that killed 26 teachers and students in 2012. You won’t be next, she promised for:
“If our elected leaders won’t listen, we will vote them out!”
To which the responsive crowd shouted over and again:
VOTE THEM OUT!
What we really want is a ban on assault rifles said another student. The Constitution never intended, say these young voters, that the Second Amendment would allow assault rifles, or any of the military advanced weaponry of today. Perhaps they are right, but of course many disagree. The Second Amendment is clear about the right to keep and bear arms and the word ARMS seems unequivocal and inviolable. Perhaps the only real way to solve the problem is to call a Convention of the States, at least 34 of them to consider the revision or the elimination of the Second Amendment. That would be an extremely difficult task, but perhaps the only ultimate solution to guns, arms and the control factor. These passionate young voters should take it as a challenge to make such a convention happen. The states could then exercise the power which the Constitution affords them and move past the federal government, the House, the Senate and the Judiciary. Any change in the Second Amendment or even other Amendments can only come from the people and will never come from Washington.
The voices, the content of the speeches were fresh, young, innocent and sincere. It was aMARCH FOR THE LIVES of young people directed by the young, presented and spoken by them and those new voices rang loud and clear. In New York, unfortunately, the old pros, the establishment politicos namely Senator Chuck Schumer, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor De Blasio showed up, made an appearance (unfortunately) and in the eyes of many, soured the experience. It seems so often in American politics that the people speak, demand and make it clear what they want only to be ignored by the politicians in power. These young voters seem intent on getting what they want or voting these politicians, these political swamp dwellers as one student called them, voting them out of office and replacing them with the new. Time will tell because in time, emotion fades. But if there is in fact a real will to change, and the demand is strong, and the promise for the November elections clear, then perhaps some action will occur in Washington. But the states can act as well. And in reasonable ways to effectuate gun control, perhaps the states should act especially in light of the inaction in Washington. These passionate students can be equally effective in the states as in Washington.
There were marches in Australia. One poster stated the following:
OF ALL THE THINGS THAT CAN KILL YOU IN AUSTRALIA, SHARKS, CROCODILES, SNAKES AND SPIDERS, A MASS SHOOTER IS NOT ONE OF THEM!
Not yet, anyway and may it never be so.
Perhaps one of the most meaningful statements was made by student Sarah Chadwick from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Sarah stated the following:
“I say one life is worth more than all of the guns in America. This (gun violence) is not a red versus blue issue:
This is a morals issue.”
And indeed it is. That is the problem at the bottom line. Don’t you think? Guns are not the killers. Immoral people are. Immoral people can use guns, or knives, or bombs, or cars, and other means to kill as we in America have witnessed. The problem for America and the world is morality. Evil replaces good. Guns in the hands of the good don’t kill. Guns in the hands of the evil and the hateful KILL AT-WILL. Guns, arms, the thing itself can be controlled and perhaps even ultimately banned if an Amendment change occurs, but that will really not solve the problem. It is the heart of those evil men which is deceitful above all which must be changed. As our young people become even more politically active, a good thing, we should hope that they will understand that the hate of the killer must be replaced by the love of mankind. I know where that love can be found. I can only hope that these young people find HIM as the real cure for this problem.