Not a day like any other.

by Guy Robison, PACE Vice-President and Director of PACEY

March 24th, 2018.

Not a day like any other.

On this particular Saturday a group of citizens from all backgrounds met on the steps of the Caddo Parish courthouse in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana. Over three hundred and sixty local students and supporters joined hundreds of thousands more across our country and thousands more across the world.

They gathered to march.

To March for Their Lives.

They represented all ages from babies in strollers to grandparents with canes, but they were led by students. Students who organized and took action to march and to make their voices heard. To state loudly yet civilly that Enough is Enough.

Enough with fear in classrooms and concert halls. Enough with the rhetoric and enough with the consistent inaction by those given the power and responsibility to represent “We The People” and not We-the-corporate Dollars!!

Statistics show the majority of citizens support common sense gun control measure. And it is gun control that these young people are asking for. Not a ban on all guns. Not to take away someone’s right to hunt or to even protect their families. But to have the same type of system in place to make the purchase of firearms as responsible as obtaining a driver’s license. To ban the availability of a private citizen to obtain military grade assault weapons. The types of weapons designed specifically to kill fellow humans as quickly as possible and to inflict as much damage as possible.

These young people just growing into adulthood have found their voice. They will not be silenced. They had enough of the excuses and the double-speak. All they ask is the ability to live and learn without fear. Since those in charge have proven reluctant to make the necessary changes, then they are perfectly willing and able to step up to instigate change. Willing to change who represents them in the government that is supposed to represent them.

In working with young adults over the years and specifically this group of exceptional people over the last month, I have noticed one main point. They are more interested and in tune with makes us the same, what makes us human, than in labels and categories that divide us. They do not understand the thinking that some older adults have regarding a divisive society. They do not understand the ‘us or them’ attitude some people adamantly cling to.

After the march one young adult bluntly stated when speaking to a particular individual - and I am paraphrasing because I did not write down the quote. I remember the thought because it struck me. They said, . . . Yes, we are young, but we are determined and your way of thinking is old and outdated and is dying off. And so are you and your contemporaries. You either help us or get out of our way.

Some of us who are older understand and we hear the voices of these young people. I ask that those of you with an open mind step up and support them. Give them the additional strength they need to make the changes they demand in all aspects of society.

And to the young people who have found their voices, I ask that you continue to speak up, make your voices heard, and lead the change we need in the world.

The times, they are a changin’.