I am so far beyond my teenage years I can barely see them in the rearview mirror. But I remember the passion. The anger. The sense of powerlessness. The feeling that you were on the cusp of something and had no and/or too many choices.
I am in awe of the kids who arranged The March for Our Lives today across the US. I am in awe of their ability to harness their grief and anger and link it to the not-often-adolescent trait of discipline to get hundreds of thousands of people to march in support of common sense gun laws.
I admit, to me, common sense gun laws would mean that no one, outside of police and soldiers, own guns. But I respect the opinion of others who may disagree. I do not respect the opinion of those who refuse to even discuss changing the laws or taking military-grade weapons out of the hands of civilians or who think arming teachers with anything but school supplies, training and decent pensions is the answer.
Did you see the kids today? Did you hear them? Did you experience the 6 minute 20 section long uncomfortable silence during Emma Gonzalez’s speech and imagine it being shattered by gunshots taking 17 young lives?
From the four black teenagers who decided to have lunch at a 1960 segregated Woolworth’s counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, to the millions who marched against Vietnam, these kids today are also shaping the world in which they want to live.
I am so proud of them. The adults? Not so much.