To be honest, I should be editing right now. I should be flying through Jericho, doing everything I can to polish the story before sending it off for a final line edit…
Instead, I’m crying rivers.
My cat died. Since she no longer lived with me, but rather my parents because I’d moved overseas for a while (and they refused to give her back once I came home) I’m not entirely certain her death was necessary. I know the former vet misdiagnosed a tooth abscess, which progressed to the point that my cat was emaciated and too weak to move. We got a new vet, but it was too late and I’m left pondering all the things I could have done to change the situation.
I wish I had a better picture, where she was facing the camera with her beautiful golden eyes, but she was camera-shy for a cat, and there aren’t many good pictures of her (unlike my boy, who likes to pose).
Wednesday, February 21, 2018, the day the cat died, the day we buried her, I turn on the television (rare for me, anyway) and saw the kids in Florida showing just how dynamic their generation can prove to be.
And I’m still crying rivers, because those kids are breaking my heart and inspiring me anew with every passing second.
I do believe generations think differently from each other. Each one is their own mini-culture with various advancements in science, technology, thought and humanity creating a social pressure different in both subtle and enormous ways from those who went before as well as those who will come after. It’s a shift in ideas and ways of life, ways of thinking.
And it’s about damned time.
Generation X never had the numbers for real change. Millennials, for all their strength in numbers, haven’t been able to out-yell the Boomers on many issues. There is a stranglehold, the old guard refuses to back down, refuses to listen, and the new guard refuses to fight all-out for the changes they believe in so much.
Millennials prefer grassroots—and maybe that’s okay. Maybe that’s how the next generation will be able to implement real change. Millennials are providing the foundation for what will come—EVOLUTION—and this next one, Generation Z? They’ll go the distance.
I’m so proud of them. So many of us have seen the problems, we’ve begged for change, only to fall short of achieving our full potential, as individuals, as communities and as a nation. But these kids are standing up, and other kids all over the country are standing up with them and putting our politicians on notice.
They demand action. We demand action. Your time is up.
There are many solutions, and we can use a lot all at once to reach the best compromise possible.
- Age limits to buy guns: 18 for a rifle (hunting) 21 for a handgun (defense)
- Replace the assault weapons ban, no more AR-15s!
- Biometric trigger locks
- School security teams (arming teachers is stupid and dangerous)
- Restructuring education and school meals so kids don’t bring any bags with them at all
- Reopen mental health facilities
- Increase funding to mental health awareness and detection programs
- Mandatory monthly meetings with school guidance counselors
- A better system for reporting suspicious persons or a central database for those flagged
- Stronger background checks and longer mandatory waiting periods
I can promise, if at least some of these things aren’t implemented, the idea that the left is coming for the guns and the eradication of the 2nd Amendment will turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophesy. Our future is in the generation that is tired of the Boomer bullshit. They are tired of being scared, tired of being sitting ducks, tired of the grown-ups around them acting more like children than these kids have ever known how to be. We will return to compassion and commonsense, we have already turned away from the greed that characterized our past, the greed that is currently taking its last agonizing breaths, struggling to hold on in the face of fierce opposition.
Quite frankly, every old guard had their chance to shape the world to their liking, to their comfort. Whatever is status quo is at least the devil you know, right? Change is hard and it’s hard to embrace a new path when you don’t know what it might entail for you, your safety or your comfort. But time marches on.
Revolution is for the youth. The old don’t like it, by nature.
So they come up with disgusting conspiracy theories. This time, it’s all a lie, fake, the kids are actors. The right-wing conspiracy theorists did the same with Sandy Hook. In reality, these are heartbroken kids, parents and teachers that have gone through something they should have been protected from. The adults failed them, the politicians failed them, the law failed them, and if you’re still in support of everything that allowed this to happen, everything from NRA-sponsored politicians to legal ownership of military grade weaponry, and you’re buying into the false belief that these kids and their pain are not real, then you’re a monster and you’re just trying to make yourself feel better by claiming these kids are actors.
This is pain on a grand scale. Sorry you can’t handle it, because you reap what you sow.
I am heartbroken, both on a personal level, and on a human level. There is too much heartbreak in the world, too much pain, sadness and anger. But there is always hope and we will find a solution. Time’s are a’changing… Ready or not.
I, for one, am more than ready.