March for Our Lives: The Pivot Point for New Gun Laws

Photo Credits: Sounds of Consequence, Drew Angerer/Getty Images, VC Reporter et al

The Washington D.C. March for Our Lives is over. Does the beat go on? Will this fledgling movement continue and have a lasting impact resulting in new gun laws nationally and in states across this country?

In our opinion, it will. That’s because the tragic shootings in Parkland Florida and the immediate reaction and initiatives launched by the high school students from there represent a pivot point. A pivot point is an area that can be leveraged and addressed effectively in order to effectuate change and achieve positive outcomes.

The activism of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school students has galvanized the nation and moved the gun debate toward a tipping point. A tipping point is the period in time in which change will be brought about.

There are a number of factors leading to that assessment. The primary ones are: the high school core group; the social media; the D.C. March; the other marches; the affiliation of gun activists and concerned citizens; the emerging informed discussion on second amendment rights; and, the emergence of guns as a “wedge” or hot button issue.

Let’s examine each of these in turn.

  • High school core group. Every successful change effort has a defined leadership core group. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s included eventual civil rights luminaries such as Ralph Abernathy, Jesse Jackson and Congressman John Lewis. The Stoneman Douglas core group includes Cameron Kasky, Emma Gonzalez, and David Hogg. A potential problem for this group is that some of them will be going their separate ways to different colleges in just a few months and they will lose their direct personal connectivity. That is where the next factor comes in.

One of the signs that we saw at the D.C. March said “This is not a moment it is a movement.” We both agree and disagree with what was on that sign.

The March for Our Lives and the hundreds of other marches nationwide was a moment. It was pivot point moment. It was also the starting line for the movement for new, stricter and more rational gun laws. The finish line will be the passage of those laws.

That will undoubtedly take time. But there is momentum now. By seizing that momentum, students, concerned citizens and NRA members who are so inclined can work together to make our schools and country a safer place for all.

Frank Islam is an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. Ed Crego is a management consultant. Both are leaders of the 21st century citizenship movement.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store