On Saturday over 800 March For Our Lives events, organized by young people, took place around the globe, from New York to Dallas to Seattle, but also in London, Tokyo, Sydney and Mumbai! This was not some minor protest that will be forgotten by next week. Nope, folks, this was a BIG DEAL. These young people had a message and they sent it loud and clear: It’s time to stop the gun madness in the U.S. – NOW!!! I support them 100%, and I am so very proud of anyone and everyone who marched, helped organize or contributed in any way to these events.
Think how amazing this is. The students who survived the February 14th tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, organized the rally in Washington, D.C. and from there, others picked up the baton and ran with it. This map shows where rallies and marches were held throughout the U.S.
The crowds at the event in Washington were initially estimated to be around 500,000, but by most estimates on Saturday were closer to 800,000! (Not to be smug, but the inaugural crowds last year were in the ballpark of only 600,000) I couldn’t have said it any better than President Barack Obama …“This was all because of the courage and effort of a handful of 15- and 16-year-olds, who took the responsibility that so often adults had failed to take in trying to find a solution to this problem, and I think that’s a testimony to what happens when young people are given opportunities, and I think all institutions have to think about how do we tap into that creativity and that energy and that drive. Because it’s there. It’s just so often we say: ‘Wait your turn.’”And make no mistake … there have been many fools who tried to tell these young people to “wait your turn”, and they brushed those naysayers aside and went on to do what their hearts and minds told them to do. I cannot possibly do justice to all the special moments, but here are a few:
- Nine-year-old Yolanda Renee King, granddaughter of the late, great Martin Luther King, gave a short but moving speech:
- George and Amal Clooney donated $500,000 for the Washington event and marched alongside demonstrators, as did Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and other celebrities too numerous to name.
- U.S. Representative and Civil Rights hero John Lewis gave an impassioned speech where he said he was proud of the “F” rating he has from the NRA.
But by far the stars of the show were the speeches by the survivors of the Parkland tragedy and the signs! Take a look at some of these signs, folks!And then there was Emma González’ moment of silence. Actually, about six minutes and 20 seconds of silence, the amount of time it took for the Parkland gunman to complete his rampage and flee the school.
A student survivor of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting last month held several minutes of silence Saturday at the “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington, D.C., to honor the 17 students and faculty killed in the shooting. Taking the stage mid-afternoon after several other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors spoke, Emma González remained silent for six minutes before explaining it was the approximate time it took for the Parkland gunman to complete his rampage and flee the school.
“Six minutes and about 20 seconds. In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community was forever altered. Fight for your lives, before it’s someone else’s job.”
These young people are the next generation. They are the ones who will lead this nation 20, 30 or 40 years from now, perhaps even sooner. Let us hope that they do not become jaded, that they keep their strong humanitarian values, that they effect the change our own generation is too consumed by greed and materialistic ‘values’ to do. My thumbs, all of them, are up to these young people! Thank you all!
Meanwhile, my thumbs go down 👎🏼 to the following:
- Former republican senator Rick Santorum, who said, “How about kids, instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations [so] that when there is a violent shooter, that you can actually respond to that?” (They should learn CPR so that next time their friends are shot, they can keep them breathing???)
- The National Rifle Association (NRA) who posted on Facebook: “Stand and Fight for our Kids’ Safety by Joining NRA. Today’s protests aren’t spontaneous. Gun-hating billionaires and Hollywood elites are manipulating and exploiting children as part of their plan to DESTROY the Second Amendment and strip us of our right to defend ourselves and our loved ones.” (So much stupidity that there really is no response for this!)
- Whomever doctored this image to make it look as if Emma González were ripping the U.S. Constitution in half, when in fact she was ripping a gun-range target. The image went viral on social media, firing up the already witless staunch defenders of the second amendment.
Semper Fidelis, young people.