I have been watching the student protests against gun violence and their calls for the banning of assault rifles, universal background checks, and other rational gun laws. I have to admit to getting a little misty eyed watching these young people. (Yea, it’s okay for a straight man to display emotions; you just have to be secure enough in your manhood to admit to yourself that it is okay.) My emotions are running high as watch because I am both inspired by the self-assurance, courage, and determination of these students and because I am encouraged about the future of our country.
Surely, we all can understand the determination required by these young people to travel halfway across the country to participate in the march and protests in Washington DC or even the determination of teenagers who are normally focused on so many other things to get out and join the protests in their own cities across the country. I am impressed by the solitary with our young people displayed in protests taking place around the world. I am also inspired by the self-assurance and courage of their young leaders. Surely you can appreciate how difficult it would be even for mature adults to stand before tens of thousands and millions watching on TV across the country and communicate their thoughts and feelings in a coherent and even eloquent manner. Now imagine having to do that as a teenager.
I am encouraged not only because these kids may finally able to move the needle on gun control after so many prominent adults have tried and failed. I am encouraged primarily because in two to four years these young people will be casting votes as our equals. If this is the face of the future of politics in this country, heavens help the Republican party if they can’t break away from the shackles of the NRA, their most deplorable supporters, and their far-right financial benefactors. Already the pendulum of political power is swinging away from greed and xenophobia towards rationality and a government which will cushion the blows of our changing world. When these young people and the rest of their generation is added to the mix . . . well, that is why I am encouraged about the future of our country.