Today will be a different kind of remembrance for the Columbine mass shooting anniversary. It’s been 19 years now since the image of students with their hands raised over their heads emerged from the scene of a horrendous massacre that took the lives of 13 at Columbine High School. That was the first of the many such images to follow.
This year, the Parkland school shooting survivors have made the Columbine shooting anniversary something different. Different because the Parkland massacre that took the lives of 17 is the latest of a long list of horrible and devastating school shootings. And the Parkland students have started a movement that has changed everything. This day will be a day of activism from students on yet another student led walkout from school day.
Various activities are planned for the day. There will be walkouts, rallies, actions taken and whatever the students have decided works best for them. Never before on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting have there been nation-wide activism like we will see today.
The movement continues. The carnage continues. As long as the carnage continues, the movement will continue. As long as our leaders refuse to act, students will lead us to action to stop the carnage.
As long as common sense is ignored, the movement will continue. As long as the lapdog politicians keep ignoring the movement, the movement will grow.
When our elected leaders realize that this is real and this is powerful enough to change the practices of businesses like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Citibank, Bank of America, and others, they will be on the wrong side of history, of public support, and the wrong side of a public health epidemic that is growing every day they fail to act.
When our leaders and others realize that attacking the victims is simply not OK and will be challenged with consequences (Laura Ingraham, conservative Missouri talk show host), things will change.
For decades the NRA and others in their orbit have felt free to attack victims and viciously go after anyone who disagrees with them. NRATV is just one example of this hate. Alex Jones, conservative conspiracy theorist, is another. The spotlight is on them right now but they continue with their hate speech and attacks until at some point there will be a consequence for their hate and fear filled paranoid rants.
As long as I am able, I will act in the memory of my sister and all of the victims of the shootings before, during and after the Columbine massacre.
Today we all remember all victims. Today the country mourns and the country acts. Today we remember.
In order of how they were killed:
Remember. Mourn. Act. Rally. Walkout. March. Send postcards. Make phone calls. Thank businesses. Get involved. Stay involved.
Never again will the nation let our leaders get away with their willful inaction, their willful adherence to the myths of a once powerful gun lobby and lack of the courage to do the right thing in the name of the victims of gun violence.