As proud as I was of record turnout at our recent very cold and snowy Twin Cities festivities of SuperBowl and Red Bull Crashed Ice events, they were frankly surpassed by the South Koreans mastery of never-ending dazzling lights at the Winter Olympics in Pyeonghang. and even colder and windier. The spectacular changing of brilliant fire crackers breaking up, constantly forming new patterns keeping our heads moving from side to side trying to take it all in. Then out of nowhere, hundreds of gaily clothed skiers appeared two by two, each couple holding the flag of the country they represented. Even their weather was more punishably cold with howling winds than was our impressive frigid weather at the Minnesota Superbowl.
As the parade of Olympic skiers neared the end, the audience began jumping up and down as the North and South Koreans marched together for the first time ever at the opening ceremony. Two by two, S.Korean and N. Korean, hands clasped together, held a unified flag representing the two Koreas. Tears trickled down my cheeks as I hoped I might be seeing a bit of reconciliation occurring between these two enemy countries, yet knowing how unlikely that was.
Sure enough, the next day headlines cried out the name of another ‘dignified gentleman’ holding a sensitive office in the White House for which he had not been certified. It seemed he had abused two wives. Yet he was handling all classified mail, lacking proper certification. If 2017 was the year of the woman, when abusive males were being ‘outed’ in the White House and other professions, this man lacked such scrutiny. The only concern shown by our President was that the gentleman was a fine, decent man “who didn’t deserve the loss of his profession destroyed by a mere allegation.” No mention was made of the abused wives.
But a day or two later, on Valentine’s Day, another school shooting occurred — this time at a Florida high school, very near the President’s winter residence. According to an analysis of online archives by The Washington Post’s Devlin Barrett, it was the 3rd school shooting in one and a half months! Beginning with Columbine 19 years ago, more than 150,000 students attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus. There had been a Code Red fire drill in the morning so hearing another fire drill in early afternoon found many students and staff outside changing classes when a security guard riding a golf cart real fast was yelling at all to run! The gunman started firing before entering the school leaving a carnage across the sprawling campus and inside the school carrying his countless magazines and an AR-15 rifle.
These highly articulate students were not only upset but were angry as well. This is at least the third school shooting this year. Thousands of parents, angry students, teachers and neighbors demanded at a rally on Saturday that immediate action be taken on gun-control. They chanted: “Never again!” holding signs calling for action and “ Don’t let my friends die!” One student told the crowd that politicians should stop taking donations from the NRA. Other students are furious that the President again finds a way to put the blame on countless others such as ‘our inept government who prefer spending more money on a Meullers ‘witch hunt’ or Obama, his favorite whipping horse, or the F.B.I. One student yelled out to the crowd, “I’m coming after you if you support the NRA! We students all feel this way!’
But this time it is victims of articulate high school survivors who have no cataracts in their eyes. They plan a march on Washington to call on us adults who they say should know better than to not give money to the NRA. Will this government failure finally bring sanity back to our leadership at all levels?
Can we dare to hope?