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These kids

March 25, 2018

march for our lives

I don’t normally have the television on during the day, but yesterday morning I was glued to it for hours, as, one after another, teenagers and children took to a stage in Washington, DC to speak their truth. These kids, OMG, these kids.

If I wore a hat I’d be taking it off to the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school. As it is I am simply in awe.

They called for and were the primary organisers of yesterday’s March for Our Lives. And they were the ones who insured that the conversation stayed focussed on guns killing kids – in schools, on the streets, everywhere. This threat to life cannot be eliminated by arming teachers.

Yes, there were MSD students speaking at the podium, including Sam Fuentes, the amazing girl, injured during the shooting, who was so nervous she threw up in the middle of her speech, managed to recover, finished her speech and then said, “I just threw up on national television and I feel great!”

But there was also Edna Chaves, the girl from Los Angeles who told the story of watching her brother Ricardo die as a result of a gang gun fight.

 

And there was 11-year-old Naomi Wadler, who actually reduced me to tears.

 

In ten days it will be fifty years since Martin Luther King was assassinated, so there was particular pathos in seeing his nine-year-old granddaughter Yolande share her dream yesterday.

 

And then there was Emma. (Do I even need to provide her last name?)

Like so many people who aren’t gun nuts, I fell in love with Emma Gonzalez three days after the Parkland shooting when she gave a speech calling BS on Trump and the NRA. (The gun nuts on the other hand seem to hate Emma and her buzzcut more than any other person in the United States.)

I consider myself a reasonably good public speaker. (In fact I was once asked if I would consider running for public office on the strength of this.) I don’t know how I’d do in front of hundreds of thousands of people and on live television. I might do okay, but I would never have the guts to simply stand in silence to mark the time it took an angry boy with a grudge and a gun to mow down 17 people.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be dead long before Emma Gonzalez is sworn in as the President of the United States, but maybe I will live long enough to see her take over Marco Rubio’s role as a Florida senator.

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From → Columns

One Comment
  1. Ooh, love your closing. It would be nice to see guts back in the legislative branch, not fear of party hacks. Lovely, and just knowing Ms. Emma could do that, just stand there in silence and the emotion in the crowd, all caught up in it. Amazing. I hadn’t seen it til now. glad I looked today–worth it. Thanks for bringing it up to our attention.

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