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March 24th, 2018 was a day that will forever remain in our history. In Washington, DC, I attended the March For Our Lives, along with millions of other gun control advocates everywhere who demand change.
We, as a country, are suffering from an epidemic called gun violence. Now we, as a country, demand changes that our politicians are failing to make. The activism of the Parkland shooting victims sparked a movement throughout the world.
The cure for this epidemic that murders thousands of innocent people every year is simple: to have stricter gun control laws. All we ask for is common sense gun laws. We order our nation to ban assault weapons, bump stocks, and high capacity magazines. How can these weapons be purchased legally in any country, especially such an advanced and powerful one as the United States?
For someone in the military, it takes significant training to get their hands on these weapons that are designed for one purpose: killing enemy combatants as efficiently as possible. Yet, it is possible for an 18-year-old with a bunch of cash to purchase the same kinds of weapons that are used for warfare. Is that even somewhat close to sensible?
We demand that our nation establish universal background checks and close the gun show loophole! The purpose of a background check is to provide a layer of security to help assure that guns will not fall into the wrong hands. So, why isn’t it necessary? 22% of legal guns sales are done without a background check, allowing thousands of military-style weapons to fall into the hands of people who could potentially use them with devastating consequences: the mass murder of innocent people.
Why is there a loophole in the law when it comes to purchasing such dangerous weapons? Private parties aren’t required to perform background checks at gun shows. That is a complete shame, and an insult to innocent victims of this epidemic, considering the government’s ongoing refusal to protect their citizens no matter how many massacres take place in our country.
Another demand is to make the legal age to purchase these weapons 21 instead of 18. How does it make any sense that you cannot buy a drink at 19, yet you can legally purchase a weapon of war that can endanger the lives of innocent people? That’s right, we don’t have sensible gun laws! Countries like Japan, England, Australia and many others rarely or never experience mass shootings because, unlike us, they control the weapons that are sold in their countries!
If there are so many reasons to make changes and save our country from an epidemic of gun violence and mass shootings, then why isn’t change made? It’s because politicians are corrupt. They sponsor their campaign with the millions of dollars they take from the National Rifle Association (NRA), which only care about selling more guns. The NRA doesn’t want restrictions on guns, and they are manipulating politicians with their filthy money. These politicians make me sick.
They put a price tag on each individual person—children, students, and adults alike—when they sell their lives to keep themselves in power.
It is so completely obvious that it is much too easy to purchase a gun in the United States, especially weapons designed for modern warfare, and that America faces an absurd amount of the deadly mass shootings. But lawmakers don’t care about the betterment of the country or protecting the people, they value their power and money more.
More than justice. More than peace. More than our lives. They justify their cowardly actions with lies and feed these lies to the rest of the nation. They tell you a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun, but where is the logic in that? How are all of these “bad guys” with guns successfully murdering thousands of people each year without being stopped by all the “good guys” with guns?
They tell you to protect your Second Amendment, which, let me remind you, revolves around a “well-regulated militia.” I can promise you what we have is not well regulated, and we do not need these assault weapons to protect ourselves: the redcoats aren’t going to come attack us anytime soon, we aren’t fighting terrorists in our country, and protecting ourselves from our own government would be futile (the military has drones and advanced missile technology).
Yet, our nation and politicians staunchly support our Second Amendment “rights” that, ironically, allow our own citizens to murder their fellow Americans over and over again. This is one of the most common arguments against the gun control movement; whenever someone mentions gun restrictions, people often hide behind the Second Amendment. However, it is quite clear that assault weapons are made for murder, not defense, and that this movement is completely constitutional. Additionally, we are allowed to adjust our laws when they aren’t serving the country well.
They tell you that the gun isn’t the problem, the person behind it is. Well, if we had stricter gun laws, people with malicious intent would be less likely to have access to weapons that are created for one purpose: to murder numerous people as quickly as possible! That same person with the desire to kill others would have a much more difficult time inflicting mass casualties if they did not have access to these assault weapons.
They tell you that the solution to this problem is to arm teachers with weapons, but how would bringing more guns into schools—and giving weapons to teachers—prevent mass shootings? At the Parkland school shooting, a deputy with significant firearm training refused to enter the school to confront the student with an assault rifle, but teachers would solve the problem if they had guns? It makes no sense for teachers—who are trained and employed to educate—to be responsible for defending students with firearms. And how does this ensure safety everywhere else?
Should we give our pastors, movie theater staff, mall workers, and everyone else a gun? We are not going to let them make our lives, and this issue itself, into another absurd political statement!
All they want to do is spread guns, and therefore, spread the epidemic. When they run out of pathetic ideas to support their argument, they take a different approach and attack the students calling for change. They tell you that the Parkland victims are crisis actors, which is plain sick and screams fake news louder than Donald Trump. They tell you that the main intention of these students is fame. How dare they, after being responsible for allowing a shooter to take away the lives of their classmates, accuse these unfortunate kids of wanting fame?
They tell you these victims are too young to understand and get involved in this issue. Yet, this only shows they cannot actually find legitimate reasons to support these outlandish gun laws that endanger our society. It just shows how sick these people are, and how pathetic they get to protect money and power over people’s lives.
Emma Gonzalez, a commendable gun control advocate, leader, and Parkland shooting survivor said, “We’re trying to make sure those elected officials that are being supported by the NRA are not elected in the upcoming midterm elections. That is one of the strongest mission statements we have right now. We don’t want these people in charge of us anymore. We were supposed to be in charge of them and now they’re in charge of us and it’s horrific.”
The activism for stricter gun control of the Parkland victims is awe-inspiring, and those teenagers are my heroes. The leaders of the Never Again movement, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Delaney Tarr, Jaclyn Corin, Alex Wind, and others, are courageous. They are fighting to save our future. These students give me inspiration and hope that these politicians will not get away with the sick, contempt game they have been playing year after year. They remind me of the power of using your voice, that good will triumph over evil, as long as people continue to stand up for what they believe in. These students will not accept corruption, they demand change. They know this is wrong, and aren’t like the adults who have given up on the idea of change.
New generations will not accept the status quo nor continue to watch politicians fail their people as innocent Americans die.
Silence may be equal to working against the movement. Ignoring the issue is practically working for those filthy politicians that are fighting against change. This is more than just another political issue in which you stay neutral, this is an issue about right and wrong…about preserving life or sanctioning murder!
These students are not going to let these pathetic politicians stop them; they were forced to experience a tragic massacre in their school that they should have never faced. They will never forget how lawmakers robbed the lives of 17 of their classmates and teachers that day.
Gonzalez recounted the moment when she decided to fight for change, “As soon as David Hogg said it, I knew that this was something that was going to happen, and that we were going to be the people who were going to make that change. We were going to be the ones who sat down and talked about it and made sure that we were going to be the ones who were going out into Congress and telling them that this is our fight now because you messed it up so badly that you left it to the kids and now it’s our job. You can’t try to take that back from us.”
They are in too far to accept that people without decent morality allow murder to happen. These students are forced to be the change they want to see because lawmakers simply don’t care enough and are too indebted to the gun lobbyists to take any meaningful steps toward change. People in power are afraid; they exploit people’s fear to get their way. But as this gun violence epidemic surges forward—and through the courage of these students to speak out and demand change—they know the odds are not in their favor.
Their worst fear may actually come true: the power of the people is stronger than the select few who control the masses through their power, wealth, and political influence.
These students, however, are not afraid, despite the death threats they receive, and all the hate people are serving them. They aren’t stooping down to their level, they are rising above and presenting themselves with dignity, courage, and moral strength of character through their actions. They stick to their argument and what they stand for instead of letting people that lack a moral compass get in their heads and scare them away.
These advocates approach their fight differently than Second Amendment activists and cowardly politicians do—they decide to use intelligence, facts, and statistics to prove their point. Most importantly, what is driving them is the best intentions for America and its people, that’s the difference.
Remember the Civil Rights movement? There were so many people against it, and people who constantly threatened Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, but it never stopped him. He didn’t let fear overtake him, and he continued to fight for what he believed in. Now, it is so completely obvious he was right in what he was doing, but at the time there was intense backlash for the social change he was trying to create. Dr. King stated, “If a man has not discovered something to die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
People like them, they define courageous. They aren’t going to let hate stop them. These activists spread love, instead, and are going to make changes for the better.
Why did children become such a filthy word when these kids are living proof that they have more courage, more dignity, more love, more unity, and a stronger moral character than the adults that run the country?
I was absolutely mesmerized by the crowd in Washington, DC on March 24th. Millions of people worldwide attended marches to stand up in solidarity for stricter gun control laws. This is absolutely beautiful; there is strength in numbers, and it clearly shows the people are screaming to see change. The weather was perfect for the day, and everyone had their own creative sign showing their support for the cause. My sign said, “Teachers should educate us. Laws should protect us. #ENOUGH #GunControl #NEVERAGAIN.”
Speakers included survivors of the Parkland shooting, the Sandy Hook shooting, people who lost family members to gun violence and Dr. King’s granddaughter. Each speaker recounted a personal experience, delivering a powerful speech for change and the importance of it. They showed us videos with statistics and explained why we have every reason to demand change.
In one video, it showed veterans who supported this fight, as they saw no reason why civilians should have access to weapons that they were required to use after training for war. In another video, Malala Yousafzai demonstrated her support.
The amount of passionate individuals in attendance was inspirational. The speeches were brilliant and impactful. They revolved mainly around the fact that we cannot forget, we cannot give up, we cannot let this happen ever again, and we cannot let the NRA win.
This is not just a moment, this is a movement. That day was the beginning, not the climax.
Courageous people got up, talked about their own tragic experience, and directed their speech to how no one should face this again, and how we cannot let innocent people continue to suffer these losses. They spoke about how gun violence cannot become accepted as normal. We should not have to experience a tragic personal loss to gun violence in order to understand the need for change.
We cannot let politicians who refuse to take action rob society of basic safety. We cannot fall for their games or tricks anymore. We cannot back down. We deserve better, we are entitled to be able to go to clubs, movies, schools, churches, and malls without fear of being targeted by a random gunman intending to inflict mass casualties. That’s why we need to take away power from these cruel lawmakers.
After almost every speech, the crowd chanted, “Vote Them Out!” When midterm elections come, voters will come after these people. Millions of people are so incredibly devoted to this issue, and together, we will incite change…together, we can save America from this epidemic. The government is supposed to serve us, the people, and now that they aren’t, we clearly have to remind them who they work for by voting them out.
The hate that is targeted at the brave victims of gun violence is driven by the fear they will lose their positions in office, which they will. These students and activists exposed the lawmakers and their corrupt affiliations, and now we see them for what they really stand for: money and power.
Change is here, change is now. Because of the activism and devotion these students show, we can still have faith in our country. The small group of people who are fighting against this cause will not cancel out the millions who are completely invested in making America the peaceful place it should be. Our future can be safe again…
However, these activists need you to help save lives and the future of the country. You must vote out the politicians spreading hate and valuing NRA money over lives. You must join the walkouts as civil disobedience, especially if you are a student. You must stand with Never Again MSD if you still have hope for this country. You must use the power of your voice to speak out against these awful practices that allowed 15,549 people to be victims of gun violence last year.
If you don’t stand with them, it is an insult to all their incredibly hard work, and the lives lost would have been taken in vain. Don’t slow down the movement, change is crying out for your help. Don’t let people silence your voice, this issue is too serious to back away from due to fear of speaking out. Innocent children are dead, innocent adults are dead, and more will die if we continue to live in generations of mass shootings. You must register to vote, and save America from this epidemic. It is up to you to help save our future.
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