On March 24, kids and families of the “March For Our Lives” movement took to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and strongly encouraged politicians to work hard to end gun violence in schools and communities. There were 846 marches around the globe in search of gun reform.
Second Amendment lovers across the country have criticized these children for leading the way with claims of taking away their rights. Truth is, most are not advocating to strip Americans of their rights, however, they do agree that the time has come for common sense, honest conversations about gun regulations and stricter laws. When the adults “failed them” they have joined together demonstrating the idea “a child shall lead them!”
Last month, the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lasted less than seven minutes but was the ninth deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. The children have now taken the helm in a way that had not happened after previous mass shootings. These kids refuse to settle for anything less than change.
Despite the reproach, the children have a right to protest. Many Americans have lost their will to fight, but Generation Z declares, “Never Again!” They will no longer sit on the sidelines, crouched in fear. A child shall lead them as they march toward victory. Far too often, in order for injustices to be heard a scene must be made. However, each demonstration has the potential to serve as a teaching tool for the public. Unfortunately, it seems protesting must be disruptive in order to get the mandated attention to invoke change.
Protesting helps drive narratives and plays an important part in the political, civil, social, economic, and cultural life of all societies. While many criticize the demonstrators, the issues are very real to those affected and who often feel the sting of these issues on a daily basis. Protests have always played an important part in the fiber of America.
The phrase “a child shall lead them” comes from the Old Testament biblical text Isaiah 11:6, which reads:
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.
Theologically speaking, the phrase is often taken out of its original context because the message in the text has nothing to do with children leading adults. Ironically, it is still a wonderful passage that describes what God has in store for this fallen world that has so much violence, fear, and death. Even still, one cannot deny that Jesus often referenced children as vessels humanity can learn lessons from.
On Saturday, across the globe, children marched for their lives and vowed to hold the Americans accountable. They are a force to be reckoned with and have strongly taken the lead by ensuring politicians that quick resolution is the way to secure future positions. This generation has grown up normalizing trauma that lawmakers cannot begin to understand. Perhaps it is time to listen to them and offer support as opposed to condemnation.
The message the kids are declaring is that politicians are either “with us or against us.” They have lost classmates, friends, family and loved ones to gun violence while adults continue with business as usual. The children have led the way in walkouts, sit-ins, and protests. Each expression matters and provides the hope necessary to invoke change.
March For Our Lives is a moment in history where democracy joined in love, creativity, and strength declaring “We are the future and we demand change!” The strength of America is not found in brute force and bigotry, but in unity and love. In this case, a child shall lead them.
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
March For Our Lives: Find an event
USA Today: March for Our Lives participants: ‘We’re the future. We’re the change’
Guardian Liberty Voice: The Art of Protesting for Dummies
All Images Courtesy of Lorie Shaull’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License