Students organized and led the whole thing, which was refreshing. It began with religious leaders greeting them and pledging support. Then came a series of student speakers, interspersed with chants. Towards the end of the rally, students went into Smith and Wesson to present their demands. When they returned, we chanted a bit more, and dispersed.
To my mind, there were a few highlights.
1) Seeing energized young people was itself inspiring.
2) Bishop Fisher noted that political leaders who send “thoughts and prayers” without doing anything misunderstand the nature of prayer. Where possible, prayer is supposed to be a prelude to action, not a substitute for it.
3) The students have specific demands, but their first goal is simply to meet with representatives from Smith and Wesson. That is, they are not simply opposing Smith and Wesson. Rather, they hope to work together to find solutions. In that, they are a model for how to address contentious social and political issues more generally.
I hope and pray that this movement will lead to meaningful gun law reform. And, in keeping with Bishop Fisher’s comment, I will do what I can to support it, in my actions as well as with my prayers.