Triggers

We remain stunned by the unbelievably brutal attack on innocent high school students in Parkland, Florida. Who knows why the individual, obviously disturbed, felt compelled to do such a violent thing thereby ending seventeen lives and damaging so many more. Hindsight cannot help too much now.

The trigger has been pulled and there is no going back.

In the wake of the horror, debate rekindled over gun control and the meaning of twenty-seven little words. They have been dissected countless times but the conclusion has remained largely the same. Gun advocates cling to that decision because parts of the Second Amendment provide quite a sturdy position from which to take a stand.

But so do parts of the First. Enter the students.

Regardless of one’s political leanings, the organization and determination of the kids at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School must be admired. Their collective response in speaking out was not a left-wing or right-wing reaction; it was a human reaction. And parts of the First Amendment provide quite a sturdy position from which to take a stand.

As clearly (or not, depending on interpretation) as the Second Amendment allows some to declare their right to bear arms, the First Amendment allows others the right to declare they should not. It presents a poignant battle during which each side feels offended by the other’s perceived inability to understand the point. Gun control is a gargantuan dispute.

I have no answers. Never having purchased a gun I have rarely given ownership or control a second thought. The right of anyone to own a gun was a given. But when gruesome gun-related events repeatedly occur they give one ample reason to reconsider based on common sense. It is a natural response. The same response Parkland students had after surviving the attack by a crazed individual whose weapon of choice was a gun. They had seen the same play out too many times, felt fed up, and are now letting the world know.

These kids understand the power of free speech. And they will use it.

These kids also understand the power of the vote. And they will use it.

Outraged by another tragedy where “thoughts and prayers” were substituted for realization and action, a handful of students spoke out. Inspired by their force, thousands more are swelling the protest. Lawmakers have largely avoided the gun control controversy, dodging and side-stepping their way around any resolution. This approach has worked for decades and may have continued as the preferred pattern, but the Parkland outcry grows stronger all the time.

Who knows the intention of the disturbed young man when he attacked students at the high school. What was he trying to prove? One thing he did prove, unwittingly, was the ability of a dynamic group of expressive young voters-to-be to consolidate their power. “Thoughts and prayers” go out to lawmakers now… they do not know what they are in for. Perhaps they hoped to continue the stalling? Pushed into action by the witnessing of death, children are forced to step up where adults never did. Something will happen now.

The trigger has been pulled and there is no going back.

Stuart M. Perkins

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98 Comments

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98 responses to “Triggers

  1. “These kids understand the power of free speech. And they will use it.

    These kids also understand the power of the vote. And they will use it.”

    Yep, powerful, hopeful, thoughts that not only the States’ youth but the world’s youth will have the impetus in the future to tell the establishment that it is the electorate’s servant not it’s master – and politicians in particular that reward has to be proportionate to responsibiltiy.

  2. Great post. Thank you for sharing. These students, regardless of what side of the fence you sit on, are a force to be reckoned with. What they have managed to achieve since the incident is truly remarkable. A tilde wave of change has begun.

  3. Beautiful written with so much truth 👍🏻💯😃

  4. Well stated perspective. While the debate over gun control will rage on from every conceivable angle, the carnage continues. Innocent lives are lost, individuals whose lives were at various stages and would have experienced so much more of their journey, all things considered, had these, and other, tragedies never happened.

    My heart aches for all the lost souls. Somehow, there has to be a better way. History will repeat itself and sadly we fail to come to a determination with respect to bearing arms. How do we move forward in a proactive way that gives the authorities the latitude necessary to make decisions that will avert the potential for the wrong people to get their hands on weapons of lethal destruction. How can we possibly anticipate with any level of accuracy what is on the minds of those who apply for ownership of a deadly weapon?

    Last but not least, what can we possibly say to the aggrieved whose heart and soul and been ripped apart by tragedy? Nothing we say or do can ever bring back their loved one(s). That is not to say that we do not urgently need to find answers. May the voices of the few swell to engage the conscience of the many before countless more lives, living and lost, will be ruined by this tragic state of affairs. Just WHEN is enough….enough?

    • I totally agree. I admit I certainly have no idea what the solution can be, but not sure why all can’t agree that there is a problem. Regardless of any position on gun control, surely every person can see the urgency. I think? Thanks for such a great comment. I appreciate that.

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