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Thursday, March 1, 2018

An Open Letter to the Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida

You don’t know me but I know you.  I have watched your valiant young faces and listened to your powerful voices. My heart broke with you on Valentines Day and again six days later when the Florida house of representatives voted down a motion to revive the bill to ban assault rifles. Yesterday when the CEO of Dicks  announced that the Sporting Goods Store would no longer sell assault style weapons, I knew that change was possible and that your voices are spreading the seeds of that change.
We have already asked so much of you — so much more than any child or young adult should be forced to give— but I beg you to continue the fight. Don’t be discouraged by those who chide you for your naiveté or seek to discredit you with false theories about the root cause of your intentions. 
You are not alone!
So, so many adults stand with you. We promise to continue the fight with the strongest weapon we have— the ballot box. We are grateful for your courage and hopeful that with your fresh voices we will be able to accomplish the sane solutions to gun violence which have eluded us. 
Like you, I cannot fathom any reluctance to reasonable restraints which would prevent our schools and playgrounds from becoming killing fields. Like you, I do not understand that there are those adults who do not recognize that the life of one human being is infinitely more important than the right to own assault weapons. Why does anyone need an assault weapon? Its very name suggests attack and not defense.  
I have spent my professional career caring for children, first as a teacher and now as a writer. Each of my books emphasize my sincere belief that every one of us, no matter our gender or race, is more alike than different and that even the smallest act of kindness will make the world a better place. Most of my books are historical fiction. There is no small amount of dark times in history for me to explore, but it is in the darkest times that heroes emerge.
You are my heroes and I beg you to continue to find encouragement and strength in each other and the many adults who love and support you.
I am one of them.


Ann E. Burg

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