A grand jury in Broward County has formally indicted Nikolas Cruz in the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. But this is just the beginning of the movement to rid America finally of the weapons that are killing our children. The next big thing will be the March For Our Lives on March 24, when marches will spring up across the land, starting with the largest one in Washington, D.C. If you want to participate, sign up. You can also attend locally in a march in many places in the United States and the world.
This event is one that stirs my heart. I want so much for it to take place and to push us over the top with change. I read this article by Lance Simmens in LA Progressive and I wrote to the author as follows: “I read your latest LA Progressive article. It was good. But what do we do to change things besides vote in elections? I say: march in the streets with rifles on our backs. An armed militia of 400,000 would wake people up.” He replied: “I do not support armed rebellion, we need to use the ballot box not bullets.”
Well, I do not support an armed rebellion, but we need a signal to those in power that nothing is going to stop us this time. A march of 400,000 is meaningful. But a march of 400,000, each carrying a rifle, is a signal that “We aren’t going to take it anymore.”
Here’s what Peter Finch said in the film Network in 1976:
I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is: ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’
Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get MAD! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. (shouting) You’ve got to say: ‘I’m a human being, god-dammit! My life has value!’
So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’
Think about it. Peter Finch spoke 42 years ago. Have things improved? No, they have not. And with the advent of Donald Trump as President, our lives have slumped into a craziness that Peter Finch would not recognize.
Even Ted Cruz sees what is happening. “We know that the left is going to show up,” Cruz told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “The extreme left, they’re angry. They’re filled with rage. They hate the president.” Cruz can see the wave of anger coming towards him. But we have to work hard to make Cruz’s fears into reality.
The March For Our Lives must succeed in stirring up every voter across the land to come out and change our society. But what can we do to make this happen? A real march is the streets, unlike anything that this country has seen in its entire history, is the only answer. But we can make it happen, if we only try.
Michael T. Hertz