Those of us who have suffered due to rampant violence demand real progress.
Those of us who lost loved ones due to violence during the 9/11 attacks join youth around the U.S. and globe as they organize protests and demand change. Together we call for policies that protect people over profits and politics of fear.
As we raise a generation of youth born in an era off mass school and community shootings we face choices of effective solutions or more weaponry. In light of all the evidence we stand alongside youth who are not so naive to believe meaningless slogans over actions that can save lives.
The attacks of 9/11 presented us with similar choices: Effective means of building true security through strong policies – diplomacy, strengthened systems of international human rights, and deployment of proven nonviolent strategies. Or the path taken: purportedly “strong”, but in actuality ineffective, action in a war against terror that led to over a million innocent civilians, most of them women and children, dead while threats across the globe increased.
As we join the March for Our Lives we call on our members of Congress to refuse campaign contributions from both weapons manufacturers and the NRA. The NRA spent more than $7 million on school shooting programs in 2017. During the 2016 election cycle, the NRA spent more than $1 million in campaign contributions. Campaign contributions from weapons manufacturers — such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman — exceeded $125 million in 2017.
Our youth are fearlessly declaring that the Empire has not clothes. The time is now to move beyond empty promises. A new age is being ushered in by the swell of voices demanding real solutions. This is a cause for hope.