- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The 60-year-old son of slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. said Wednesday that his father would “applaud” the student-led anti-gun movement sweeping the nation since the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida almost two months ago.

Martin Luther King III, a human rights activist who was 10 years old when his father was assassinated in 1968, wrote an op-ed for the New York Daily News on the 50th anniversary of his father’s death.

He wrote that his father’s activism is alive and well today in the forms of the #MeToo, Black Lives Matter and March for Our Lives movements.

“I’m sure my father would applaud the explosion of youth activism that has emerged in response to the gun violence pandemic,” he wrote. “I’m certain my parents would agree it is gratifying to see young people leading social change projects in a multiracial coalition. They would also be encouraged that these young people are registering and educating voters in this extremely important election year.”

Mr. King praised the Parkland student activists for forcing legislative reform in their state, including a new law raising the gun-buying age from 18 to 21, a three-day waiting period on gun purchases and a ban on bump stocks.

“While this legislation falls far short of what is needed, it is striking how fast the political establishment passed the bill,” he wrote. “We should also be open to additional reforms, including some of the high-tech proposals like requiring microchips in future guns not owned by the military, which can disable the weapon in certain areas. With this technology, it’s possible that digitized ‘safe zones’ can be established in schools.”

Mr. King also argued that a federal assault weapons ban is essential “if we are ever going to have peaceful communities.”

“In addition to gun safety measures, a culture of nonviolence should include more nonviolent conflict-resolution training for law enforcement and young people; boycotts of the sponsors of media that promote violence; and job training and educational opportunities, so that all young people can have reason to hope for a better future,” he wrote. “There must also be energetic voter registration campaigns to make it happen. Back when my father recruited young people to join our freedom struggle, he asked them to endure a ‘season of suffering’ to make America a greater nation.”

Mr. King’s 9-year-old daughter, Yolanda Renee King, spoke at last month’s “March for Our Lives” event in Washington, calling for a “gun-free world.”

“My grandfather had a dream that his four little children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” she said, referencing her grandfather’s famous speech. “I have a dream that enough is enough. That this should be a gun-free world. Period.”

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