Well, there you have it. Once again, the children have to take some action because the grown-ups won’t. Our children have to grow up fast these days, because they’ve quickly realizing that the “system” isn’t working. They know, as youngsters, that they are in the cross-hairs of the violence of this nation.
Thank God, once again, the kids are marching. I say, let them march. Let them learn the trials and workings of democracy. Let them learn that to change things, they have to speak in unison. Change is hard, and those who control the status quo aren’t wanting you out there marching. “Let the adults handle things, after all, we know what’s best for you.”
Let me say that I, for one, am very proud of what you’re doing. You will learn more about yourselves on your marches than you’ll ever learn in school. Education is an important thing, but it comes in many packages. You didn’t create this mess, but you have become the targets. I believe that together, you have the ability to fix it. If you don’t, your children will be dealing with the same things you are.
I also know that the grown-ups will try to stop you from your marching. They will threaten you with punishment and cast doubts about your future. The shootings will be labeled an “isolated incident”, and added to the ever-growing list of carnage. And you’ll be left to wonder if the next school shooting will be yours.
If my children were in school today, I would hope that they’d be marching. I would pray that they’d be challenging the grown-ups to do something to make it stop. I would hope that they’d insist their schools and teachers get better funding. I would hope they would ask that their teachers could concentrate on teaching, rather than thinking about their guns.
As a former police officer, let me tell you something about having guns. In my twenty years of policing, there were a number of misfires. Not just citizen misfires, but officer misfires. They happened on the shooting range, and they happened in the City-County basement where we parked the squad cars. They happened to some of the most competent officers I worked with. Fatigue from working long hours around the clock were certainly a factor. I myself once pointed a loaded gun at a fellow officer in a training exercise. These things happen, and they will happen in your schools. In the news this week there was a story of an officer who left his gun unattended in a school room. These things will happen.
So I say to y’all, march. March for those who are no longer with us. March for the children who have been traumatized. March for the teachers in your schools who are so poorly compensated. March, because if you don’t, nothing will happen. You must take courage, and work together for change, because you are your only hope. And be assured that I and many others will be praying for you.