Youth spark change by marching

Published 10:52 am Monday, March 26, 2018

Sometimes it just takes a spark to create real change.

We may have seen that over the weekend as tens of thousands of people descended upon the nation’s capital and cities across America Saturday to march for gun control and protest lack of significant action following the most recent wave of tragic school shootings.

Large rallies were also held in Boston, Houston and Parkland, Florida, the site of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead, and others.

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We applaud all the youth who participated and others who want to allow their voices to be heard.

Unfortunately, some conservatives feel they should attack these individuals and disparage their efforts simply because they disagree philosophically with the viewpoint.

Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum even went so far as to say students should be spending their time learning CPR if they want to be part of the solution.

It’s that level of ignorance that prevents us from doing anything significant to break the cycle of violence.

It is positive our youth is becoming engaged in democracy and realizing how important it is to stand up for what they believe in. Regardless of students’ particular political ideologies, this bodes well for our future because we continue to battle an overwhelming sense of apathy that seems to span several generations.

Maybe these tragic incidents will be the final straw to overcome this.

The thing that has been most disappointing is, so far, none of the activism or tragedies themselves have been able to bring our country together to have meaningful conversations about solutions and change.

We must find a way to tune out extremists on both ends of the political spectrum as well as all the lobbyist who only care about their particular agenda.

Americans who are open to conversation, collaboration, compromise and, ultimately, change will be the ones to make a difference here.

Maybe this is the first step.

Maybe we will look back, and this is the defining moment that makes all the difference in the world. Literally and figuratively.