By Zoraida Diaz
We know about Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook, and now Parkland. We know that 76 people were shot dead in the three deadliest incidents of shootings in schools or campuses in the 21st Century. But what we may not realize– because it has happened anywhere from one to ten victims at a time– is that close to 200 other lives have been lost to gun violence in schools in the same period.
This is what we, as a nation, are up against: a polarized, rambling discourse on gun control that impedes progress. Even the anguished fathers and mothers of the little children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary–who have long advocated for mental health and gun reform– have had limited success with gun control legislation. We determinedly under- mine our inviolate right to life with the forlorn guarantee of individual freedom in every gun bought.
Parkland happened, and the young survivors of the latest school massacre refused to wallow in their grief, to be consoled and pitied by the grownups who knew better. Instead, with a battlecry, they rallied. These smart, social-media-savvy and eloquent high schoolers tore down the country’s collective apathy with the sledgehammer of their conviction. The March for our Lives, was the culmination of the spectacular transformation of these children into warriors.
Inspired by the Parkland teens, my son, Oscar, a 16-year-old Actor at the Baltimore School for the Arts, was one of some 700 students who first walked out of Baltimore city schools and marched to City Hall on March 6 and then again on March 14, to protest against gun violence. And, again, on March 24.
These photographs are a reflection of a world-wide movement inspired by the ferocity of purpose of the survivors of a horrific school shooting; they have emboldened millions of people of all ages and walks of life to walk in their footsteps.
To see more of Zoraida’s images, please check out our website ubpost.org. children and adults can learn to be more comfortable with that vulnerability.