Between 1900 and 2018 there have been at least 146 protest marches and rallies, gatherings of people to express their social and political views, in Washington, D.C. It is a time-honored way of making sure that the government “hears” the people, their passion and their political aspirations. The First Amendment allows this kind of speech and the government protects it.
Now we have another protest brewing, the March for Our Lives, which is being led by students. This First Amendment display of complaint is to protest the use of the Second Amendment to protect the widespread availability of military-style weapons on American streets.
It’s difficult to tell exactly what is driving the student anti-gun demonstrations that are taking place all across the country: It may, of course, be the actions of the most recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in High School in Parkland, Florida.
On the other hand, it may equally be the non-action of adults. Since the shootings at Columbine in 1999, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, and the 50 other mass murders or attempted mass murders at schools since then – 17 of them by children under the age of 15 – not one piece of national legislation has been passed to either stop the shootings or protect the victims, though some has at the state level.
Since no one else is doing anything about it, the young people have taken it upon themselves. They lay the responsibility directly at the feet of the politicians who define themselves as the guardians of the democracy. The students’ March for Our Lives on Washington, D.C. scheduled for March 24, defines three issues for r
esolution: age restrictions on gun purchase, a ban on assault-style weapons, and the demilitarization of police forces.
The point is that we now have two tragedies here: the first is the mounting numbers of deaths in classrooms, the second is the seeming political indifference to it. Where being re-elected in a country obsessed with guns is obviously more important than protecting schoolchildren, politicians have refused to regulate the sale of guns by either age or category.
As a result, young people can get a gun in the United Sates before they get a diploma and with it the hoped-for control it takes to decide how and when to use it. Worse, adults argue back at student activists with a straight face that taking military-style weapons off the streets would violate the Second Amendment rights of sportsmen. The adult arguments clearly do not persuade: “Protect children, not guns” one of the protest signs says, as students walk through city streets in protest. ~NCR
To read the complete story: https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/where-i-stand/and-little-child-shall-lead-them