In one regard, if in no other, the National School Walkout demonstration in which students left their classrooms for 17 minutes on Wednesday to mark the 17 lives lost a month prior in Parkland, Florida, was nothing short of a success.
If you disagree with that statement, you are the proof. If you disagree with the movement altogether, you are the proof. And, sorry to not let any of you off the hook here either, if you did agree with it, you are also the proof.
The purpose of a protest is to draw people's attention to a subject or an issue. People who might otherwise not have known, not have given credence, seen and yet moved on -- people in favor of, in opposition to or indifferent are all equally made to look, to feel and, hopefully, to think.
Yet, empowered by social media, many adults were quick to criticize this youth-driven movement -- nationally and locally -- that was held, to not only honor the dead, but to also call on Congress to act in some measure or another to curtail gun violence. Pushes have been made for stricter gun regulations regarding who can purchase guns and at what age. Background checks are potentially going to be bolstered behind this most recent mass killing and some stores, even some states, have acted whereas, so far, the federal government has not.
And so, to these students, it doesn't matter whether we agree or disagree any more than it mattered during the many marches for civil rights in the '60s or against the Vietnam War in the '70s, gay rights in the '80s or even the Million Man March in the mid-'90s.
None of these children were born then. They weren't around for any of it. Yet they have read stories and seen documentaries about these events and the subsequent changes that followed them, whether immediate or lagging years behind.
Our children learned from our example and the example of generations before us that this is how you bring about change. And yet, many of our generation and, depending on your age, the one before ours, are condemning them for it.
Disagree on the issue, sure. That's fine. It's welcomed. It's kind of the point -- you won't be moved so they will. But don't condemn the act for which you, we, history, set the example.