Day 23,710: Opening New Closet Doors.
What can one say about today? Around the nation, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to support this current generation in demanding change to allow them to live and learn in safe environments. It is a time when my generation is yielding to — not the next, but — the next of the next generation to lead us into sanity. They are more effective. They are being heard. They are inspiring.
It’s sad our generation failed them, but we did. They told stories of growing up with gun violence from Columbine to Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook to now Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Count the years. It’s 19 years from Columbine to today. A child in pre-K during Columbine is now in high school for MSD. They literally have grown up gun violence through all their primary and secondary school years.
We all know these are no longer isolated incidents. But, you have no idea the extent of the problem until you see this list of school shootings on Wikipedia. There have been 57 school shootings in just the last three years from 2015-2018, and sadly we’re only 25% into 2018. There have been four school shootings resulting in an additional 7 deaths SINCE PARKLAND!!
All we can do now is support the hell out of this generation and stand with them to demand change.
- Any change.
- Hopefully a lot of change.
- At least the obvious changes.
Hope in Small Places
Usually I go to rallies in Philadelphia. Today, I chose to show up at a small rally in Ocean City, NJ. It was put together by a senior at one of the local high schools and allowed like-minded people in a very red part of the state to see they were not alone.
The Ocean City rally was important because it was so out of the ordinary. I expected Philadelphia and New York and Boston and Seattle and Chicago and every other large city to support the efforts in D.C. It’s less likely for smaller cities, and areas steeped in a red political culture.
I’ve been to just a few meetings in the last year in both Cape May and Atlantic counties in New Jersey. Each time attendees look around nervously before taking a deep breath and realizing they are no longer alone. It’s shocking how shut down so many people have felt because they felt so isolated.
Being in South Jersey is the closest I’ve ever come to understanding how it feels to be closeted — not just politically, but also with religion, geo-origins, as a first-generation American, age, education and feminism. The area is not aware of how many differences we have as Americans from different facets of life.
It certainly was far harder and took far more courage for LGBT groups to come out of the closet for all years prior than white, heterosexual liberals now to come out of closets in red America. But it is another closet, nonetheless, and one that needs the door opened wide. What I’ve learned transitioning to South Jersey is that there are so many more closets than I had ever imagined. Today, I was happy to be out on the Boardwalk in the sunshine with so many, and yet so few who also felt the need to be both seen and heard.
Focus on Gun Sanity: Make a plan for tomorrow. What is one step you can take to march forward in your own world? NJ is voting on gun laws on Monday, and if you’re in this state, you can write to local representatives. If you’re elsewhere, perhaps tomorrow is the time to join a gun sanity organization. Commit to one day at a time, one step at a time so we can look the next generation in the eye and say we heard them.