Letter from Jo Knowles

Dear Brave and Determined Students,

Thank you for standing up for what you believe in and not backing down, even as the dark shadow of the gun industry machine and its followers rise up to intimidate you. It takes a lot of guts to stand up against a powerful force. Maybe that’s why so many of us have failed so far. But you’ve seen that when you all come together, you are a powerful force, too. You are the light, the hope, and the energy this country needs to face down the lawmakers and the gun industry that controls them. Yesterday’s vote was disappointing, but there will be more. You have challenged those who have taken money from the NRA with the promise to keep this debate from reaching the floor–without a care, it seems, for the deaths sure to follow, even of young children. Yesterday’s vote exposed each one of those lawmakers. You did that! Best of all, you are inspiring all of us to try again, no matter the odds. You are giving us hope. It’s not enough to tweet our disapproval, or to post angry Facebook memes. We need to stand up, speak out, and MARCH. Dumbledore said, “Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.” (Rowling). It isn’t fair to put this great responsibility on your shoulders. But I can see that you wear it willingly–proudly and fiercely. Dear students, I hear you. I support you. And I will follow your charge.