Taking risks to bring attention to the issues

Published 8:18 pm Friday, March 16, 2018

To the Editor:

And a little child shall lead them (Isaiah 11:6).

It is comforting to think of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, as the children who will lead us. Adults could not get anything done about gun violence in Florida schools, so the students took the lead. They were able to shame the Florida legislature and governor into adopting legislation which raises the age to buy all firearms to 21, imposes a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases, allows trained school workers to carry handguns, provides new mental health programs for schools and restricts access to guns from people who show signs of mental illness or violence. Young people organized, spoke out and brought visibility and focus to the issue, putting pressure on political leaders. The adopted legislation may not solve our gun violence problem (no one law will), but at least it addresses the tools of violence.

Students have shown courage to speak out in a positive way to oppose current laws. They have demonstrated the courage to walk out of class while risking disciplinary punishment and other threats, to meet lawmakers and to demand an end to the status quo on gun laws that do not keep them safe.

They demonstrated democracy in action, and on behalf of Beaufort County Indivisible, we applaud these young people and offer our support to others who feel the need to bring attention to issues that impact our lives.


James and Kathy Smith