The #NeverAgain Movement

On Valentine's Day, a 19 year old went to his former school in Parkland, Florida and shot several students and adults, killing 17 and shattering hundreds of lives forever.  We've heard stories of heroes (both kids and adults) that took bullets for others.  

When I look at my current students, I desperately want them to be safe.  I would be devastated if any of them passed away, let alone several of them at once like what happened in Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland.  The AP Test is completely meaningless next to the safety of kids who have a limitless future.  

People have argued that "back in the day" students had rifles in their truck and they never brought them into the school to shoot someone.  OK.  They continue by pushing that the second amendment guarantees our right to bear arms.  But the second amendment was written in 1791.  In 1791, cars weren't even invented yet, let alone assault rifles.  It is extremely difficult to imagine developing the laws of the land and doing your best to write them so that they could apply forever without any modification.  If change was never part of the process, the amendments themselves wouldn't exist.  Women [19th Amendment] and African-Americans [26th Amendment] could never vote.   We're simply in a different time.  We live in a time with cars instead of horses and semi-automatic weapons instead of bayonets.  The price of technological advancement is that when a major development occurs like the invention of cars, we have to change our laws to protect citizens by providing requirements like the Driver's License test in order to help others be safe.  Of course there are still accidents by good drivers who are going the speed limit, but less people are killed when law-abiding drivers are on the road.  Just like our schools need to be drastically updated and moved away from an industrial model with desks in rows and ringing bells where even adult teachers have to wait to go to the bathroom, it would be ridiculous to assume that all laws written over two hundred years ago don't need updated.  It would be as if major breakthroughs continued to happen in medicine but we never used new drugs or advancements in sanitation when conducting surgery.  

Please don't hear the wrong message.  I'm not saying that we need to repeal the Second Amendment and that all guns need to be banned and taken away.  But the framers would've never guaranteed the right of a citizen to own an AR-15, a weapon used by the military and designed to kill people, not deer.  It is powerful to have a conversation with people that own guns who understand that something needs to change and can admit that they don't need an AR-15 in their cabinet.  The gentleman above used the hashtag #OneLess to share his message that every gun matters.    

The fact that there was yet another mass shooting in America and in an American school sadly isn't surprising anymore.  What is news is that surviving students at Stoneman Douglas High School are changing the equation and they're basically saying, "We're tired of school shootings being a regular part of the American news cycle and fading away.  We're not gonna take it anymore."  People like Emma Gonzalez, Sarah Chadwick, Cameron Kasky, and David Hogg are leading the #NeverAgain Movement and using the positive power of social media to push for change.  These survivors are heroes too.  They are building the March for Our Lives event on March 24th in Washington, D.C. which is spreading across the country.   This is the first time I will take part in an event like this, and it's long overdue.  

Regardless of where you stand on gun control, it's hard to deny that the bravery, passion and eloquence of these students is inspiring.  I can only hope that someday my young daughter will stand up for what is right like these students are.  Also, I really hope meaningful change is enacted extremely quickly, so that something like Columbine, Sandy Hook, or Parkland doesn't ever happen again.  #NeverAgain.