I don’t know your feelings on this subject, but I am stating for the record how pleased I am that our oft-stated “never again” is being re-used by the victims and classmates of the Parkland, Florida shooting. I can’t think of a more fitting recycling of an expression we created post-Holocaust, which so clearly affirms our belief in our survival and determination not to be victimized ever again.
The Parkland high school students are proving that they are more mature and cognizant of the fact that they hold their futures in their own hands than adults give them credit for possessing. Their protests are well-planned and well-attended and their speakers are extremely articulate, so I finally stopped worrying about the future of our country, even given the current resident of the White House. Make no mistake about it, this protest is formidable. Even facing disciplinary measures being taken against them, they are persisting in their endeavors and they should be applauded for their determination and not hindered by the various school administrators who want to silence them — as if you could silence anyone with an Internet link.
In the past month, there have been two school shootings, both caused by school security resource officers, which should tell you that guns do not belong in any school. Arming teachers does not work either; since anyone in law enforcement will tell you they cannot fight semi-automatic or automatic weapons with their service revolvers. And teachers are being paid to teach, not engage in shoot-outs with mentally unstable students loaded to the teeth with AR-15s.
We are witnessing a sea change that will impact our government and those who currently govern us. I can’t imagine a more powerful message than having a 17-year-old lecture a sitting Senator and showing him what a hypocrite he is by accepting money from lobbying groups like the NRA; and that it directly led to the violence at his school and at so many others over the past several years going back to Columbine. The tone deafness caused by the National Rifle Association can no longer exist. Conversely, children are convincing their parents, and rightfully so, that their cause is a just one.
Soon, these children will be voters and after that, they will become our congressmen and congresswomen. “Never again” will take on a different meaning when this happens. For now, they are fighting a monolith in the NRA and an equally unmovable Congress. They already figured out that shaming them publicly works wonders for their cause. All we adults have to do is make sure they win. After the Holocaust, we realized that our collective voices were necessary to speak for the deceased in order to ensure that we survived as a people. With their maturity and clarity of purpose, these high schoolers have already figured this out and we should support them in any way possible.