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© 2020 Blaine Hoppenrath
  • Blaine Hoppenrath

We are the 505, We Just Want our Kids Alive


Kids these days.  

A half dozen kids got 8,000 people in Albuquerque to March for their Lives.  And they chanted, and marched, and demanded change.  They were peaceful and insisted that every teenager of age registered to vote.  


These kids made it very clear that they didn't want to ban all guns.  But some guns.  And its a valid point.  America has a gun problem and more specifically a gun death problem.  In Washington they didn't just speak about Parkland, but the bullets that have killed black and brown youth across the country.  In Albuquerque the spoke of kids who feel the only option is to take their own life with a gun. 

Kids.  

I went to high school a decade ago, Columbine happened when I was 10, and I was more consumed about swimming than my safety.  I didn't have to worry about domestic violence or guns in my community.  I went to an (almost) all white school in suburbia.  I didn't have to worry about being hungry and had no concept of food insecurity.  And to see what kids these days are going through breaks my heart. 

It infuriates me that we have gone back a step when it comes to giving kids a decent and safe education.  It infuriates me that we have a huge racial achievement gap with our black and brown youth.  Why in a decade does it feel like our country has taken two steps back? 

Today our kids showed us that we can do better for them.  We can meet in the middle to come up with actual laws that benefit the majority.  These kids weren't asking to get rid of all guns.  Just some.  Or to make it more difficult to get a gun than alcohol.  These kids are too young to vote but fed up with the voters who can.  


We have to start somewhere.  Remember how easy it was supposed to be to ban bump stocks? Has that happened yet?  Remember when 45 said that it would be easy to raise the minimum gun purchasing age?  That seemed like a great idea for what seemed to be a quick minute.  America has a gun problem, taking away all guns is (probably) not the correct solution (or the best), but to do nothing, to leave the status quo, is asking for you, me, your neighbor, my family to be killed by a bullet.  

One thing that has been in my head all day is a chapter I read in a book. So You Want to Talk About Race? is a brilliant book about race by Ijeoma Oluo.  The chapter titled "What is intersectionality and why do I need it?" talks about how race impacts so many social issues that we care about. They are and its good food for thought.  We have to address effective policing at the same time that we address gun violence, violence against women, better schools and education.  They are all related just as we are all related and the fact that we are all human.  

We can do this together. We can figure out to have a safer America and give our kids a country they are proud of. We are better together. 



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