I remember being in junior high school when Kip Kinkle took a gun into Thurston High School, he shot 50 rounds, injuring 25 people and killing 2. I remember being a Freshman in high school when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris set multiple bombs inside of Columbine High School and when they didn’t work, the pair decided to shoot up the place instead. The Columbine massacre received far more attention than that of Thurston High, I speculate that is due to a much higher fatality rate, 13 killed and 24 injured, as well as the massive media exposure it received. Despite that they both made an impact on me as a student. Some of the smaller shootings that have occurred in the United States have been brushed off with little media coverage other than the local news. When you think of school shootings you likely think of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandyhook and now Stoneman Douglas, but this issue runs deeper than that. In fact in the 20 years that have passed since Kip Kinkle walked into his school with a gun and Nikolas Cruz chose to do the same, over 150 people have died from gun violence in our schools.
It breaks my heart to think that in 20 years we haven’t been able to reach an agreement and pass legislation that would help to keep guns out of the hands of children. Now, through the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas our youth are finally saying enough is enough. I am not sure why it took this long, but I am thankful it is happening now. The “March For Our Lives” was so inspiring. To see students rallying together and demanding action was truly beautiful, but now we have to stay strong.
It is no surprise that this is bringing about a flood of counter-protest and not just from regular citizens but from the media and politicians. You can tell that the people are afraid of what regulation might develop as they are grasping at anything they can in an attempt to avoid the real issues. From Leslie Gibson calling Emma González, a “skinhead lesbian,” to Laura Ingraham taking to Twitter to poke fun at David Hogg over which colleges did not accept him. The behavior we have seen from many of the adults in position of power is disgraceful. I can only shake my head as I sit and try to figure out how I will explain this to my daughter one day.
Listen, whether you want to accept it or not these children are the future of our country. So you may fight them, call them names, try to destroy their spirit now, but you cannot stop them from growing up and becoming voters. These amazing children that we see marching for their lives in Washington DC will one day be serving in office, maybe even as the president. These outdated laws and flawed ways of thinking will eventually die out as fresh new minds enter into the world of politics.
You may have noticed that when Laura Ingraham made an apology to David Hogg it was “in the spirit of Holy week”. Not in the name of humanity, not because what she did was wrong and she was acknowledging it, but as an attempt at virtue signaling. Some people may fall victim to the theory that a belief in God makes you a good person, but it isn’t true. It is easy for people to slip religion in as a screen to try to make themselves look better, but anyone with a rational mind can see through it. As Michelle Obama once said “When they go low, We go high” so in the spirit of Holy Week, I suggest we rise up.