Proud

By the time this posts after the DS relaunch, who knows what else will happen in this world. This week, I am inspired.

There is nothing I have seen more inspiring than the way in which young people- that's high school students, ELEMENTARY students and others have taken to social media, to the streets, to TV and radio to come together and say, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH." The adults in their lives and the generations before them have failed to do their part in ensuring that saying that American society needs to have better gun control. They remind us that this is not a political issue. There should never be a Republican or Democrat side to this debate. Children are dying. Children are being killed in their safe spaces at school. We have allowed this to go on, and now the children must fight for their own safety. I am ashamed of my generation and the ones before mine, but I am fiercely proud of and grateful for the young people taking a stand now. Finally.

I have always wondered what happens to the families of the victims of American mass shootings. Their devastation must be immense. I'm not sure how they find ways to move on without their loved ones. But I also wonder: where do they go? Why don't we hear from them aside from the occasional visit to local lawmakers, or as a somber face next to a politician, begging for change to our outdated policies? I know they must be enraged and out of their minds with grief.

58 people died in the Las Vegas massacre in October of 2017. FIFTY-EIGHT HUMANS. 489 were injured in some way, either by gunfire or by being trampled in a stampede of people terrified for their lives. Where are those 58 families? We heard the stories of the people they lost in the days following the domestic terrorism incident, but they faded away, just like the faces of the mere babies murdered in Newtown, CT. I can't imagine being a family member of someone senselessly taken in this way, and then fading into oblivion. I couldn't imagine settling into a statistic. The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida will not be silenced and they will not fade away. They are our only hope.

Watching the tenacity they've shown (especially when you know damn well they are receiving death threats, being called liars and actors, and enduring other outrageous atrocities,) has inspired me to stop being afraid to speak out. I used to be afraid of losing friends or upsetting colleagues. What if someone doesn't share my beliefs about such a heated topic? Well, too bad. I realized this is not a political issue. This is a life and death scenario. If you don't agree with the idea that there needs to be some regulation of assault weapons in the United States, then maybe we shouldn't be friends. I don't understand you. I will lose friends. That's okay. I don't want to lose any more innocent young people who are just trying to live their lives.