Opinion: A plea from a child of the 60s

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

I am reminded that in the 1960s when I was a teenager growing up in Stuyvesant Town and attending the local public schools, it was largely student agitation and protests that helped bring an end to the Vietnam War. In so doing they brought down a president. After all, most of the 58,000 American deaths were of kids barely out of high school.

Tragic events and fate now summons this generation of students and the millennials to do what their parents and grandparents have not been able to do, to stop the insane gun proliferation and resulting carnage funded by the NRA, and fueled by billion-dollar gun manufacturers who keep pumping out more and more lethal firearms. After all, it is so many students who are the victims of mass school shootings, the latest a high school in Parkland, Florida.

The thing about idealistic youth is that they know no limits and don’t know what they are not supposed to be able to achieve. And it is in this naïveté where success is realized. Won against all odds. Won in spite of the naysayers and pundits who say it cannot be done. The sports analogy would be a 22- year-old Cassius Clay boxing for the World’s Heavyweight Championship against Sonny Liston the toughest prizefighter on the planet. Or the 1980 upstart U.S. Olympic hockey team comprised of kids facing off against the awesome unbeatable Russian national team in Lake Placid.

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