I was there, Marching for Our Lives


Last year, I wrote about my belief that we know the names of too many shooters and not enough victims. This year, I centered my poster around Parkland victims’ faces, aiming my focus at the march on the safety of children rather than on the punishment of shooters.

By Sarah Mensch

Yesterday, I marched for 2.5 miles with an estimated 50,000 people in Boston. As a student, I stood toward the front, and when I looked around I could see so many of the children I wrote about protecting late last week walking next to me. They looked tired; this was their Saturday morning, intended for soccer practice or Girl Scouts or watching cartoons, and they were spending it pleading for legislators to make school a safer place

A fifth-grader, marching for our lives

The March for Our Lives did not maintain the level of pride or excitement I’ve felt at other rallies I’ve attended; at the Boston Women’s March in 2017 I felt solidarity in my womanhood, and at the Deaf Grassroots Movement rally I felt admiration for my Deaf professors and classmates. But at the March for Our Lives, I felt anger, grief, and most importantly, determination.

The walk-outs at high schools all over the nation and demands from students in Florida specifically have already resulted in Governor Rick Scott (R) signing a new gun bill into law that raises the minimum age to purchase a gun, ends same-day gun licensing, and bans bump stocks.

The littlest protester.

I and the hundreds of thousands of others who marched yesterday have a new obligation today, one that is much more uncomfortable than our duty to be good adults and protect our children: we have to hold on to our anger and our grief. We have to maintain its magnitude and it’s momentum, because without any emotional charge, change in the way states handle guns doesn’t start with the Florida gun bill, it stops there. And until no child or adult dies at the hands of gun violence, we have not done enough.

Given that I’ve just given anyone who reads this a hefty call-to-action, I want to make it clear what organizations Engaging Peace readers can support to make gun safety in the United States a reality:

Some other young protestors, marching for our lives

This entry was posted in Champions of peace, Democracy, Nonviolence, politics, Protest, resistance, Terrorism, Weaponry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to I was there, Marching for Our Lives

  1. LB says:

    Here’s a different perspective on proposed gun regulations related to “mental illness”, something I hadn’t considered until I read it:

    https://ghionjournal.com/gunning-for-tyranny/

    Another issue we haven’t heard much about is if folks who want to raise the age requirement to own a gun also support changing the age requirement for joining the military. If not, it seems like there’s a moral disconnect in allowing 18-year olds ~whose young lives and perspectives are still forming~ to risk lives and limbs in order to carry out the state-sanctioned murder and violence inflicted on millions of innocent children and civilians in our wars.

    • kathiemm says:

      Thank you so much for sending the link about “Gunning for tyranny,” LB. It might also be called “gunning for people who can be tyrannized if they have a diagnosis of depression.” The message of the article is critically important and I urge all readers to read it. thanks also for the very important question you ask about age requirements. Right on!

    • LB says:

      To be clear, I’m not blaming or dismissing young student protesters or their need to have their voices heard. It’s important we do what we can to get to the root of the violence that permeates our culture and country.

  2. LB says:

    Thanks, kathie. There’s also this to consider, summarized in the following excerpt and followed by the link:

    “. . . if a critical mass of students begins seeing the connections among violence, racism, injustice, capitalism and Washington raining death on people abroad, the MSM will abruptly cease its fawning approval. Many of us recall how quickly the liberal establishment turned on Dr. King the moment he gave voice to these same connections.”

    https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/03/30/few-thoughts-march-our-lives

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