I frequently reflect on the recent tragic shooting in February that took the lives of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The incident was so senseless and unnecessary until it provoked students whose lives were spared from the shooting to take action to never have such an incident like that to happen again. The killer used an AR-15 Assault rifle as the weapon of choice to gun down 17 people.
Similar shooting incidents have happened in the past few years at several other elementary and high schools and Congress has taken no action to prevent further killings in schools. The students at Stoneman Douglas who survived the shooting attack decided to take action on their own to avoid the same thing happening again.
The leadership of the students reminded me of Isaiah Verse 11:4 of the New International Version (NIV) Bible which says “but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breadth of his lips he will slay the wicked.”
Continuing Verse 11:6 of Isaiah says, “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together. And a child will lead them.”
The Douglas High School students immediately begin working to challenge the National Rifle Association (NRA) and members of Congress to take action to strengthen the gun laws, especially on assault weapons. They recognized that the NRA had many Congressional members beholding to them and the only way to get Congress to act was through the NRA’s permission. They recognized that the NRA was a powerful lobbyist group and was going to be hard to convince to change gun laws.
Noting how young people behave these days and are forever on their cellphones and other electronic devices, I had formed a bias against them and was saying that they were neither capable of nor had the maturity to take on such a challenge. Wow! Was I fooled? Those young people proved to me that they were more than capable of challenging the NRA. In a short period of time they have proven to have the ability to change America by using the social network with which they are familiar. They are more capable than Congress to manage the country.
In a few short weeks the students were able to amass a demonstration of several million Americans throughout the country to protest gun laws. They have made face-to-face challenges to politicians who are NRA supporters. They are planning town hall meetings with Congressional members from each state and are planning demonstrations until they get the gun laws changes from the NRA that the country needs.
I can’t imagine that some of our adults are speaking out against these high school students for their fight against the NRA when they have experienced seeing their friends and schoolmates killed by an AK-15 before their eyes. They also experienced the possibility of losing their own lives at the same time.
Some people are saying the students’ behaviors are political. I say “so be it” if that’s what it takes to keep them safe. The students have shown that their actions have viability when Laura Ingraham of Fox TV News complained against one of the students, she lost sponsors and had to apologize to the student.
Because of the cruelty and hate that’s going unmanaged by our leaders in this country I can see why we need a child to lead us! Go ahead, children, take over and govern the country to some sensibility! The adults governing now are certainly not doing so!
Shedrick Byrd is a frequent contributor to the New Journal and Guide.