I’m doing it again. We’re gonna get mildly controversial.
This upcoming Saturday, March 24, is the March For Our Lives. In Washington, D.C. and around the United States, students and all of those who think that enough is enough when it comes to gun violence will be marching. This follows student walkouts on March 14th in which hundreds of thousands of students walked out of their schools in honor of the 17 students killed in Parkland, Florida and to call on lawmakers to pass gun safety legislation.
You may be asking “so what?”.
Today, I wanted to talk about the importance of this march. Now, full disclaimer, I will not be attending this march. Not by choice but because I have work at the same time at the sibling march in my home state. If I could, I would one hundred percent be attending. This is important.
The March For Our Lives follows a history in the US of children making change. In the 1960s, it was largely youth/children/students who were able to make a change when it came to segregation and civil rights. Students largely demonstrated against the Vietnam War. Students made their voices hear even if they couldn’t vote on the change they wanted to see. Children can make a difference though.
Even when it comes to the smallest of issues, you can see children make a difference. I’ve seen it personally. Through my work’s Connecticut Kid Governor Program, the 2017 Connecticut’s Kid Governor Jessica Brocksom was able to act as an advocate and helped get two bills passed into law regarding animal welfare in the state. You wouldn’t think that a fifth grader would have that much clout.
Now, you may still be asking “So what? They’re just kids and this is 2018. Oh, and we’re talking about guns.”
History and national interest is on the side of these students. The majority of Americans are in favor of common sense legislation, with about 90% supporting universal background checks for those who want to purchase a firearm. It doesn’t seem like our current national leadership is willing to do anything. Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill about school safety that does nothing about gun violence. It is another non-action when it comes to preventing another mass shooting in our schools.
What these representatives and the government as a whole seems to forget is that this is an election year. Seeing thousands of students marching about gun violence, many of whom will be able to vote in November, should terrify these people. For the first time in a long time, there is an air of change. It seems like something could actually happen. Could a group of teenagers really take on the NRA?
I think they can. And I completely support their efforts. These kids are going to change the world.
The March For Our Lives is important. This could be the start of much needed change in the United States. We all just have to work together to keep this change coming. Keep the pressure on. Keep fighting for our lives.
To end this on a slightly nicer note, here is Found/Tonight performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt from Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen.