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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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March 21, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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March 21, 2018
 

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PAGI B8 Wednesday; March 21, 2018 LIFE " r SPIRI F of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE. CHRISTINE SNYDER Young people are right to insist on gun laws that work CHARLES TOWN - A random sound from the hallway, a text- book dropping to the floor behind them in a classroom, the "bang" of a Iocker door slamming -- young people are speaking out about the little' things during the school day thatveer just slightly from the noi'm that can send their minds rac- ing to the worst: Is this the start of a shooting? FrOm the moment the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School unfolded in Parkland, Fla on Feb. 14, the young survivors be- gan detailing what it was like when former classmate Nikolas Cruz came into the school with an assault rifle;-killing 14 students and three staff-members. The students' raw honesty opened the door for teen- agers all over to begin speaking out about their fears and to begin insist- ing we do more to curb the gun vio- lence that plagues our country. hast. Wednesday - exactly a monih after the Parkland shooting - schools in Jefferson County along witt/more than 2,500 others across th6 riation and even internationally were the site of walkouts. Li e the ones here, most began at 10a.m. and lasted for 17 minutes, a minute for each of the victims at Stdn man Douglas. The protests varied from school to hool, with some staging safe- ty T lies, others organizing a "lie- " with students lying down, as if m, they'd been gunned down. In some scl ools, only a single child took part in ii ralhes and in many, schools threatened to punish or carried out punishments against students who walked out. While many school districts were supportive of National School Wall- out Day, a number of school admin- istrators threatened to punish young people who took part in the protest In our county, Facebook was full of support for the young people - and also a lot of vitriol for them, too. A post on the Spirit's Facebook page with photos from the walk- out prompted ugly criticisms, like these from Kara Day: "I heard the refreshments being served after the walkout were Tide pods and Kool- Aid These kids are clueless. I'm sure most of them saw this as an op- portunity to get out of class for a lit- tle while to goof off." On Fox News, host Tucker Carl- son also dismissed the students' ac- tivism, asking why "people who don't have the right to buy guns have the right to make my gun laws. They're not citizens. They're chil- dren. They're not of 18." Trevor Noah, the host of TV's "The Daily Show" had the right re- sponse: "If kids are old enough to be shot, they're old enough to have an opinion about being shot." We adults ought to feel shame that the issue of keeping us safe from gun violence has become the do- main of young people. Back when I was in high school, my main sources of stress centered on my math-resistant mind and un- fortunate fashion choices. I went to a rural high school where many of my classmates loved their guns, many driving around with rifle racks in their pickups, but I don't remember ever worrying about a school shoot- ing. I don't recall even an inkling of fear that such violence could hap- pen at my school. Kids today have never had that luxury. My oldest daughter had just marked her first birthday on April 20, 1999, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's Columbine High School massacre in Colorado changed ev- erything by killing 12 classmates, a coach and themselves. So my daughters have grown up with deadly shootings as not the ABOVE: Students from Washing- ton High file out of the school just before 10 a.m. on March 14 - part of a nationwide, student-led push to make schools safer following a Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida school that killed 17. Students at Shepherd- stown Elementary, Jefferson High and several other county schools also took part in the walkout, join- ing thousands of their counterparts nationwide and even internation- ally. LEFT: Judy Marcus, principal at Washington High, addresses the crowd as one of the student lead- ers listens. A number of communi- ty members came out to show their support for the young people. norm, thank goodness, but certain- ly not the unthinkable, either. My youngest, just 4 years old, seems not to have picked up on any of the con- versations about Parkland unfold- ing in our home in recent weeks, but it's heartbreaking to realize that she may soon be confronted with many of the same fears. Or maybe the world will be differ- ent for Laura. Last week's walkout and the ac- tivism we're seeing by Emma Gonzdlez, David Hogg and so many others from Marjory Stoneman Douglas and now other students na- tionwide - these young people are giving the status quo a shaking up like we've never seen. Clearly, the National Rifle Asso- ciation and its supports have been caught off guard by these articulate young people demanding that law- makers toughen gun laws and take other steps to make schools safer. The NRA and its defenders much prefer the mass helplessness that seemed to descend after the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at Newtown, Conn when Adam Lanza shot his way into an elementary school and gunned down the principal, five other staff- ers and then 20 youngsters, just 6 and 7 years old. While I was still trying to wrap my mind around the horrible news, ' I remember seeing multiple people on my Facebook friends list change their profile pictures to an image of an assault rifle and post statements about their devotion to the Second Amendment. Five years after the Newtown massacre, Jon Webb, a writer with the Courier & Press in Evansville, Ind wrote a column that cited the Gun Violence Archive to note the thousands of people killed in gun violence since Lanza's rampage. "What solutions have we offered?" Webb wrote then. "How have we at- tempted to clog the steady stream of needless death? What have we done since 20 children were brutally massa- cred? Nothing. Because we don't care. "We're obviously never going to pass any kind of gun control. At this point, it's a waste of time to even discuss it." But maybe this time is different. Thanks to these Florida students who know what it's like to have their school day interrupted by a madman bent on murder and to lit- erally run for their lives, maybe now - or soon - we can talk about : adopting some of the solutions that have helped end mass shootings in Australia and other countries. I'm hopeful that we're nearing a time when our kids won't spend their school days fretting that a loud noise sounds like a gunshot but will instead feel free to focus on what they're in school to accomplish. They're there to prepare for life, not to worry about getting shot to death. 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":':ilii iiiii iii i:i i:ilh ~ ':i:" II!EIIi "~!~ i~!~!1!111111;i: iliii~!~ii ilii~ "i!iiIIii ii: I~iiII~: ':ii : " ~:I i i:i !1i i111 i~.~Iiii i~ii i i~i~ii~i!i!iiiiii~i: ":i~i~i!i!i!i:iI"!iiiii i :i :i::" ':;11;:;1: :;:::;:1:I :;11;:;11;"I:;" :I:;'I';:;:11:<:;I:.-. ========================== :::i::::::. ::ii:i:?. i:i!iiiii iii{ :!i iiiii{iii{i~i!i!: i::::::::~ 11. :::i::i:: lli, ~:i. ::iI~. ::i:i~I< t1111f~.i~ii!Ii~iI [ iii iiiN i i N -. " " : i ii i ~ ii i : i i ii!ii ! ii iii ii E!EII{II!!E! iii{ i!ii!iiiiii ~j~{~}~]~ :~ i!111~iii~iiiii iilii~i i~iiiii i!:i~iIii i~!~1t~ / is proud to sponsor the Gumdrop, an adult female Yorkshire Terrier mix, is looking for a forever home, preferably one without cats. She is black/brown with some cream in color, spayed and current on all vaccina- tions. To visit her or any of the other wonderful dogs and cats waiting for homes, please visit the Animal Welfare Society shelter on Old Leetown Pike Road (just west of the county fairgrounds). Our public hours are Wed.-Sat. t 1 a.m.-4 p.m. AND Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed Mon. & Tues. Visit our ,r,website www.awsjc.org, Facebook, or call us at 304-725-0589. i ii iliili Jefferson County, West Virginia For Updated Sam Michaels FIDUCIARY NOTICE 3/21/2t Park Concept Plan I have in my hands for an- The Jefferson County Parks nual settlement the accounts ofREQUESTS and Recreation Commission, of Bank of Charles Town Trust, Ad- FOR PROPOSALS Jefferson County, West Virginia, mMistrator for the Estate of Ca- Jefferson County Parks and will be accepting qualified bids leb F. Burns, Jr 2/1117 through Recreation Commission for the; "Update to the concept 1/31/18. Request for Professionalplan for Sam Michaels Park". June K. Jovanelly Engineering Services Procurement of services will be Fiduciary Commissioner i in accordance, with West Virginia Code 5G-1-1, et seq. Interested firms must submit six copies of all requested information to: Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission 235 Sam Michael's Lane Shenandoah Junction, WV 25442 All Bids are to be~ submitted I I and received by, March 27th at 2 pm to the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation. Please mark on the outside of your sub- mittal package "Sam Michaels Park Design Proposal." Attention is directed to the fact that the proposed project will be undertaken with public funding and all work will be perfermed in accordance with regulations of all public agencies including Jef- ferson County, West Virginia, the State of West Virginia, and the ,- federal government For additional informa: tion, please visit our website at www.jcprc.org or contact at 304.728.3207. 3/21/2t