Marching for our lives -- and our communities

Anne Arundel activist Claire Miller observes "As a very smart 12-year-old said to a journalist recently, on my own I may not be able to change anything but with all of these people, we can definitely make change happen." Solidarity is changing the political terrain, significantly.

/By Claire Miller/ It is inspiring what the students of Parkland, in Maryland and across the country have done. They have forced a conversation about gun control with politicians and have attracted a sizable audience with their message. They are the face of this issue. Our youth are our most precious resource, yet our country hasn’t figured out how to keep them safe in school or in their communities.  The students who organized the March for Our Lives Rally in Annapolis brought together a diverse group of voices and the most impactful to me were the voices advocating not only for safety in schools but safety in the community.

Jaime Artero formed Hood 2 Good with his friends because they lost Terry Bosley, who was murdered in Annapolis in November atmarch_for_our_lives_annapolis_march_2018_claire_pix.jpg the age of 17. The purpose of Hood 2 Good is to advocate for opportunities for kids living in public housing.  Tammi Ramzziddin lost her husband, Prince George’s County police officer Cpl. Mujahid Ramzziddin, when he was killed off-duty helping a neighbor. Despite the tragic loss to her husband, she remained very upbeat about the need to continue to help one another but also advocated for ending gun violence at home.  When you look at safety in the community, you need to understand that 96 people are dying from gun violence every day….let that sink in….96 people every day die from gun violence.  It’s time we spent our collective energy figuring out how we can radically reduce the number of lives lost to gun violence from any cause.

As a very smart 12-year-old said to a journalist recently, on my own I may not be able to change anything but with all of these people, we can definitely make change happen. Take a look at the crowd flooding the streets of Annapolis showing their support for improving safety in schools and in the community. Let’s all stay committed to making our voices heard demanding solutions for ending gun violence in schools and in our communities. Be encouraged that we will have 11,000 students in Anne Arundel County who are eligible to vote in the 2018 elections. They are certainly paying attention to this issue and are not afraid to take on the status quo. Are you?

Claire Miller is an activist with Take Action Anne Arundel County, the Progressive Maryland chapter in that county.