Letter: Let the children lead us as we break free of NRA’s influence

March for Our Lives
People on the balcony at the Newseum join with protesters on Pennsylvania Avenue as they look twoard the stage near the Capitol during the "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control in Washington, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

From: John Vanderbur

Greensburg

When it comes to politics and elections, there is one phrase I have often heard throughout my life: “If you don’t vote, don’t complain.”

For many years I was a true believer of that, but as time passed I have become very cynical of that contention. Our politicians — nation, state and perhaps local — have much too often kowtowed to the wishes of the very rich interest groups. As a result, our government has become a government of the rich few that holds sway over our politicians. In some instances, the people’s votes have meant little.

Sometimes there are defining moments in one’s life, or society’s life, when something takes place which gives a glimmer of hope that change might occur. On March 24, I watched the “March for Our Lives” movement on television. The crowds were in the hundreds of thousands across our nation and other countries throughout the world. All of those young people spoke eloquently of gun violence and the terrible tragedies at schools and their determination to bring about change. One of those children was Yolanda Renee King, granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr. She said, “I have a dream that enough is enough. That this should be a gun-free world. Period.” She then led the chant, “Spread the word. Have you heard? All across the nation. We are going to be a great generation.” This little 9-year-old girl spoke words of idealism and hope that we should all cling to.

These young people are the future of our nation and maybe, just maybe, this movement will persist and when it comes election time they will make good on their promise to get out the vote and to make politicians responsible for their actions.

“March for Our Lives” just may be the beginning of the end of the influence of the National Rifle Association. At least, it will surely send a chill down the spine of the polluted souls of some politicians.

The people of this nation must shed the influential stench of the NRA and special interest groups. When that happens, the government of this great nation can once again return to a government of and for the people.