We were young once and vocal. Our college campuses and our streets filled with young people standing tall calling for justice. Justice took difference forms, black and white faces, speaking up for equality, social justice, women’s rights and an end to an unjust war. The dynamics of the times played a part in our motivation which emanated from Martin Luther King Jr., Tom Hayden, Abby Hoffman, Stokely Carmichael and John 23rd. This time produced changes to our society and an end to a divisive war. What followed was typical of various social type movements, it petered out and ended with some gains having been made. Young faces gathered wrinkles, found jobs, created families and continued through life. However as the wrinkles grew deeper and our hair turned gray self and family became more important than others. Job security declined, factories closed, globalization spread, our insecurity grew and our status eroded. This doesn’t justify who many of us became or the politics we came to accept.
We are now seeing our youth standing and speaking with an enormous voice. The faces seem so young in fact many are still in high school. Make no mistake though this a strong movement. It will bring change to society and our public office holders. There is elegance in their speech and an absolute firmness in their voices. In May 1970 our nation became outraged by the killing of four and injuring of nine students by the Ohio National Guard. The voices today are likewise outraged by the killing of students and the apparent acceptance of that by adults. Another person is killed by a gun, a mass killing occurs in some theater or city and students of all ages are gunned down in their schools. This can not be acceptable as part of student life. It will no longer be addressed with the call for prayers. Young people will not stand for it nor should the adults. The time has come for the adults to move to the front of the line and stand shoulder to shoulder with these young faces. We haven’t been doing that and our children, literally children, have stepped up and are leading
A place to start may be the new legislation signed into law in Florida. This is merely a beginning but only a beginning. Enough is not enough with such legislation. As older Americans not just boomers recognize the student’s cause is not only just but it’s right, it will be sustained, expanded and grow. The sheer numbers and diversity of this group with opinions different from their parents will change our country for the better. Many politicians, with the NRA support,may survive reelection in 2018 and some in 2020. Listen carefully as God is my witness, your days are numbered and America will say that Enough is Enough and Never Again will ring true through the halls of Congress and the streets of America.