Just a thought... The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. [Socrates]
There is something amazing happening tomorrow in the United States and a total of at least 844 communities around the world (including Victoria and Toronto, to name just two in Canada) as kids and families of March for our Lives "take to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority, and that we end gun violence in our schools and communities."
The event was put together by survivors of the Stoneman Douglas tragedy on February 14th, to make sure that the school shooting (now not even the most recent on US soil) provides a turning point in the discussion on gun ownership and the mad proliferation and possession of weapons of mass destruction.
There are a thousand NRA talking points and arguments defending gun ownership and the infuriatingly insane, God-given rights that people claim to have. If I started to list them, I'd lose my mind and a few readers here, but if you watch Fox "News" or read the comments directed at those trying to change minds and save lives, you know them all. Here's something you have to see: the character Betty Bowers debates - with herself and with poise, humour and logic - every single viral NRA talking point. Here's the link on youtube. It's brilliant and takes every one of those arguments down calmly and with pearls on.
Will tomorrow's march make a difference? Only if the people in US government who can do that grow spines and say "no" to the NRA and its enormous donations and coffers. While the recent Cambridge Analytica revelations (thanks to British journalists that Trump can't say are against him) seemingly show that there are many politicians on whom those who pull the strings have some serious career-and-possible-freedom-ending dirt, surely there are people in power somewhere who can start limiting and then hopefully rescinding some of the NRA's power.
Last weekend, the Las Vegas Convention Center was host to a two-day gun show. We couldn't stay far enough away. But seeing the billboards advertising it reminded me of the horrific events in that city just last year and how those weapons (that are ostensibly to make some people feel safer) have the opposite effect on those of us who don't feel a need to pretend to be John Wayne or some Quentin Tarantino femme fatale.
But there's good news heading into tomorrow's action: for the first time in nearly two decades, there are more Americans who view the NRA unfavourably than favourably. If that translates to a political shift, too - whether through a blue wave at the ballot boxes this November or through some unforeseen mass twinge of conscience - then the uprising in the wake of Parkland, Florida will not be forgotten by the next season's change.
We can hope, at least. In the meantime, seeing the date March 24th in people's media feeds and hearing it everywhere has often given me a reason to smile. You see, tomorrow is the day our daughter Lauren came into the world 27 years ago. And I know she'd think that such a special event as March for our Lives coinciding with her birthday is a pretty cool thing. I know Rob and I do.
Here's to making a difference and turning tragedy into something positive. We know that it is a difficult thing to do, but nothing worthwhile is easy in this life, is it?
Have a gentle weekend and I'll talk to you again here on Monday.
(@erindavis on Twitter)