Saturday, Dan, the children, and I went downtown to the March for Our Lives rally.
(We missed marching from the City County Building to Market Square due to work [him] and child logistics [me]. But we got to the rally as it began.)
It was the first real political action we had taken in general (aside from voting, writing letters, and/or making phone calls). It certainly was the first time we involved the children in action.
It won’t be the last.
I hope the grownups are paying attention. These children — my children — are growing up under a cloud of possible violence. Many of the children who spoke at the rally on Saturday had already been directly impacted by gun violence in their communities. Their friends were dead; they were living with fear and anxiety.
Many of these children will be able to vote in November. And any politician who is not actively seeking to make a difference when it comes to gun control laws is going to find himself out in the cold, and deservedly so.
I know it gave me hope. I hope it gave Flora some hope. She and I walked the square, and we bought some pins (Flora’s: Fight Like a Girl), and M4OL bracelets. (Flora, yesterday: “Do you think I should wear my bracelet to school?” Me: “I do. I think you have supportive friends. Some of your friends participated in the walk out.” Flora: “I’m going to do it!”)
It was extremely moving as well. The politicians who spoke were politicians. But the children and non-politicians who spoke owned the crowd. A number of 17-year-old girls had time on the stage; the Pittsburgh March itself was organized by two sisters from Shadyside Academy, a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old. Parents and siblings who had been traumatized by guns spoke up and spoke out. And there was a HUGE call for intersectionality. The children are reaching out to children of color and communities of color who have been under assault from gun violence for decades. They want to make a difference for those communities too.
The NRA and people who oppose gun control can hurl insults and invective at these children. They can scoff. They can choose to believe that come November all this passion will have died down. That young people will continue to eschew voting and activism.
I say, let them have their denial. I believe in these children, in their passion and their voices. They are tired of the deaths of their peers, they are tired of the do-nothing politicians and their thoughts and prayer, they are galvanizing us adults to be the people they believe us to be.
Also, they have no illusions. They aren’t calling for guns to disappear, they understand the Second Amendment. But they also know that they have the momentum and popular support on their side. That the tide has turned.
That Enough is Enough. Never Again.
Another first for me this month: I created an entire “Irish” meal for St. Patrick’s Day, which was a Saturday this year. Corned beef, mashed potatoes, Irish soda bread, and cabbage (sauteed, not boiled). Dan and I had Guinness as well, naturally. I was kind of proud of myself. I also learned that Dan loves corned beef (Michael and Kate enjoyed it too). So that will be something that maybe I’ll cook more than once a year.
Did you do anything for the first time this month?