LET THE PUBLIC SPEAK: Students on MLK and gun violence
Published: Monday, January 21, 2013 at 5:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 21, 2013 at 5:10 p.m.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sixth graders at the Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter School were asked to write about what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's message would be today about gun violence. Their answers were compelling. Here are several:
Slower than snails
EDITOR: If Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was alive today, I believe he would say that the person who is unbalanced in mind and has a gun is not the one we should blame but the one we should pity, for he grew up in a system that made him unbalanced. We are the ones who should change this system and make it more humane.
If we had humanity in the world, we would also have peace. Why do our kids have to grow up in a society where another is constantly threatening them?
Why do we have violence when we could have love? We are slower than snails when changing the society we live in, but faster than rocket ships when it comes to making weapons.
If King were here
EDITOR: I think that if Dr. Martin Luther King was here today with all of our gun-control problems, he would say that we share a world and that we should use our minds to do things to create peace. We should help those who are troubled, not create weapons that the angry can use to harm others.
As Dr. King said, “At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love. In struggling for human dignity, the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns.”
I think that when Dr. King said this he was meaning that to be nonviolent, you must first understand and love others as human beings.
Somebody has to take action to do what is right and stand up for his or her beliefs, not just dream and talk of matters that they “cannot help.”
I think that Dr. King would take action to help the kids and teenagers who are having a hard life, because a hard life with no one to help leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to uncontrolled actions.
Needs to stop
EDITOR: I believe that Dr. King would say: People who use guns are cowards. They use the guns because they think something good will come of it; that killing someone else is a good thing. They know that it will only cause more chaos and indifference; they just don't want to admit it.
Something that Dr. King actually said was, “To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate.” I think that this means that more and more chaos and hate will be generated unless someone stops it.
I think that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would speak to cities all across the nation, trying to help people understand that, yes, guns are dangerous, but no, they should not be completely banned.
Love is the thing
EDITOR: Martin Luther King Jr. is the man who made equality not just a dream but a reality. Yesterday, it was the idea that all men are created equal. Today, it is wondering if the ones we love are safe from gun violence.
What would he do? We can guess. We can brainstorm. But the violence is now. The hate is now. What can we do?
There are many different opinions on this topic. One is to elongate gun license tests. Another is to only let the military have guns. But the one I think King would follow is to have none at all. People say that we need guns for protection. Is the world really so horrid that to rid ourselves of violence, we need more violence?
Martin Luther King once said, “At the center of nonviolence stands the principal of love.” If we follow this, why would we need guns?
He also said, “When we love at this level we love men not because we like them, not because their attitudes and ways appeal to us, but because God loves them.” We tend to think of the enemy as inhuman, so we use these destructing weapons. Yet we forget that God loves every man, not just the ones we love. Every man has love in their core at their birth. We forget.
Let us not forget. Let us live in his words.