Today I am sitting on my farm in Iowa, snowed in by blizzard, when I wanted to be marching in Des Moines to support these kids who are fighting for their right to be safe. So instead of marching I am watching their speeches on television. The more that I watch the more I find myself overwhelmed and hopeful to see this generation of bright, thoughtful, savvy, eloquent, young people taking the lead.
It makes me think, am I doing enough to keep our children safe and to feel safe. As I recall the things I did to protect my children, who are now adults in their 30’s, were things like — not letting them have a phone in their room, keeping the computer on the Internet in a family area, teaching them to be defensive drivers, teaching them stranger danger and avoiding alcohol and drugs. I remember not being able to sleep until they walked in the door as teenagers out with the car.
I can not even imagine the terror a parent feels now sending them off to schools everyday with the thought that these kids are scared for their lives and have to do active shooter drills. It makes me wonder how we got here in such a short time. How did the “right” to bear arms become more important than keeping our children safe?
I was raised in Iowa, in a hunting family — I even had one of my brothers accidentally shot by a cousin cleaning his handgun. A terrifying event, but he survived and living a long healthy life. So I get people who want to own guns — but I don’t get the need to have military grade weapons meant to kill people.
When I was in 8th grade, Martin Luther King was murdered and I vividly remember that year — Bobby Kennedy was murdered just a few months later. My social study teacher, Miss Seawick, a blue haired woman, with one blue eye, one brown eye and always wore purple suits, had a lesson that has stuck with me. She drilled this into us, “Your rights leave off where the next person’s begins.”
So, as you listen to this group of young people pour out their messages from their souls — remember, they just want their “right” to be safe to be respected and as important as that “right” to bear arms.
Before those Amendments we value so much were these words.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Somewhere along the way, the 2nd amendment started becoming more important than the “insure domestic Tranquility, or promoting general Welfare…
So thank you to all of you who are marching today!