Saturday, March 24, 2018

We Marched

Tom and I are retired teachers, the parents of a teacher, and the grandparents of young teens. We are citizens of this nation who have plenty of reason to care what happens in our schools, but not only in our schools. Gun violence is widespread in our country, essentially because guns are widespread, and we do a poor job of controlling who has those guns. 

Today we joined the young people who organized the March For Our Lives movement across the nation, and even around the world, to call for common sense gun control. 

It is easy to find the deflections to the issue of guns: it's a mental illness issue, we need to stop bullying and spread love, it's the result of bad parenting. How about: cars kill more people than guns so ban cars; why don't you march for all the aborted babies you kill; guns don't kill people, people do. I saw a great response to that last one - then why to we let people who would kill have guns? 

Mental health is an issue, and we need more health care resources to address it, we can spread love while controlling guns, and we don't need guns laying around in homes with bad parenting. We license cars and take away drivers licenses for serious infractions. While abortion has no place in this discussion, it is a choice, just as owning a gun is a choice, and both require common sense regulations. Deflect all you want, this is a GUN issue!

And so we marched! We don't have a crowd size estimate yet for the Seattle march, but it was tens of thousands, and filled the 2 mile march route with a sea of signs. Young and old and in the middle, we all carried the message for common sense gun control, with the promise to vote our message in the upcoming elections. 

My sign generated smiles, Tom's sighs. A woman came up to me and asked if she could borrow my sign and have her picture taken with her phone, because she was a new grandmother and was thrilled to be there and wanted to send the photo to family. At the end of the march a man passing by pointed to my sign and said to his friend, "That's the best sign I've seen all day". I got many smiles and thumbs up and photos snapped of me. It made me happy.

There were lots of grandmothers in the crowd today, and families with young children, people of all ages and sizes and colors. And, of course, there were the students, those wonderful young people who put this all together and made it happen. 

We gathered at Cal Anderson Park as the sky was clearing after a cold, wet, and snowy early morning. 

What are the chances that we would encounter someone we knew in a crowd of tens of thousands? And yet, as we gathered at the park, there she was, Carole, the school counselor I worked with for many years, and have not seen in over  year! She and her husband are activists too. I loved it!

And then we were on our way, Marching for Our (Their) Lives. 

 There was a contingent of doctors from Swedish Hospital. They deal with the results of gun violence. 

 Yes, "Change is coming!"

I told this mom I loved her sign, and that I was growling. She said she was too. 

 Between the rally at the beginning of the march and the one at the end, students poured out their hearts and the governor and other officials spoke. We were just happy to have been part of the support group. 

 We took a bus back to Westlake Center, had some lunch at a Subway shop, and then coffee in the park, while a high school band visiting from Sacramento played for us. 

We were tired when we got home, but happy, and more importantly, hopeful. 

As the government seems to be falling apart around us daily, young people are becoming activated to bring change. Many took the opportunity to register to vote today. We need to continue to encourage and support them, and to stay diligent and informed and involved ourselves. We cannot let them down. 


  1. You're an awesome granny. Much more will have to be done. I hope it happens.

  2. Wonderful post. Enjoyed reading it. Could feel your excitement, your energy, and your commitment.

  3. I’m so proud of you and honored to know you. I loved seeing all the posters. I too have hope for the future with these kids coming to power.

  4. so important for youth to realize they have a voice...

  5. Proud of you both and everyone else marching today.

  6. Your pictures are wonderful. It was raining in Bellingham and it's hard to use a phone camera when your hands are freezing and wet. I didn't get many pictures at all. But there were thousands of us! I love my home town. :-)

  7. Way to go Linda and Tom. I loved all the signs and have never been prouder of our youngsters and caring adults. We can make change.

  8. Thanks for going. I did not march but we did have 800,000 at the Capital!!

  9. Absolutely awesome!!! Your photos are fantastic. I'm so proud of all of you. I wanted so much to march but it was raining badly and we had promised mom to take her to an orchid show. The signs are just wonderful!

  10. So that is what the march was about...I wondered as I don't watch the news. Looks like a peaceful march...that is a good thing:)

  11. I like your sign too! Good for you joining the march.

  12. Who would have thought when I started teaching 30 years ago that we'd be having intruder drills, locking our doors and teaching our kids to hide in the dark? I grew up in a family of hunters, in a house with many guns used exclusively for that purpose. (Well, and for protection from bear that might decide that we looked more tasty than the garbage we were taking outside.) Of course, that was a place and time when we didn't lock our house and left car keys in the car. I fail to understand why the NRA, which says it believes in responsible gun ownership, is against common sense gun control.

  13. Hi Linda,
    This fellow blogger and fellow retired high school teacher is SO PROUD OF YOU, not only for marching but for being brave enough to post about it on your blog. I posted my feelings on my blog the day after Parkland and then worried about the blog readers I may have just lost. Now I think that was cowardly. I love your blog and will be following from now on. Happy Easter to you and your family! ~Cheryl

  14. I love the Grandma for Gun Control sign!! I came over from Cheryl's blog and love what I found here. I live in GA and my name is also Linda. I'm a Grandma of a 7 yr old and 3 yr old and I can't imagine guns in school. You have inspired me!!


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