March for Our Lives
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is generally accepted by most as not just an innovator among social justice but a man that should be revered as a hero, and even a savior of our country. One would think with this amount of reverence that he would infinitely be regarded with respect, however, in his time period he was hated by many, even regarded as a man seeking corruption and ‘stirring the pot’ rather than helping issues. Radical for his time, he now has a holiday dedicated to him due to the change he invoked.
This seems common knowledge, but MLK was one of many who took the world by storm by utilizing ideals of peaceful protest. A movement against the insanity of racial injustice in America. Similarly, in more modern times, radical events are still taking place. The first to name takes place in 1999 as the America stood in shock in reaction to events at Columbine High School. Not only did a mass shooting take place, but the horrors took place in a school as police officers stood by, taking no action, expecting students to protect themselves as there were no prior policies for what to do if a student(s) opens fire on a high school. No prior policies…so one must work off of those that were given, correct? Similarly, to our leaders’ take on school shootings. Prior policies, those laid out in 1791, intend that guns are the epitome of protection, safety, and a right. But as we’ve seen in the officers’ passive stance towards children dying, prior policies cannot always prepare one for the worst-case scenarios.
As time went on, mass shootings and death became a normality. A sad fact that was easily forgotten as it is psychologically impossible to grasp the amount of tragedy, 270 shootings since Columbine, to be exact. Sandy Hook (one does not even need to hear the word ‘school’ or ‘shooting’ in order to understand the connotation), occurred and we all assumed a reality check. One in which the agenda of the NRA was not worth more than the life of an innocent child, a child so young in age that their brain psychologically still views death as sleeping. One would think that the radicalness of those deaths would invoke change and that policies would be updated in order to avoid another repetition of pain and tragedy.
Flash forward to 2018 and we’ve experienced 17 school shootings in 2018 and 3,151 gun-related deaths. In juxtaposition, the conservative contributors of America have been given millions from the NRA combined, the hot seats given to Thom Tillis who received $1,971,554 and Tom Cotton who was given $1,968,714. I suppose this must fulfill something. This must make up for the lives lost or perhaps make it easier. There must be some reasoning as to why stuffing money in people’s pockets, who claim to desire the preservation of life, are somehow able to cope with the losing the lives of children.
It is safe to say these are radical events. It is sad that mental illness is so out of hand that a person turns to violence, perhaps the system has failed them. It is tragic that lives are lost because people love their guns too much. It is depressing that repeated bullets in the heads of children cause no change, and it is safe to say that the system has failed these children. However, it is downright disgusting that these individuals sleep soundly, allowing these deaths to happen, they have failed the system.
As these radical events occur comes feelings of anger, frustration, and desire for change. Alike in many, and most present in Generation Z, these feelings are invoking actions. These feelings are pushing towards change, a change that is necessary and felt very necessary after the occurrences at Parkland. As the insanity of America pushed for actions that dictated MLK radical and out of place so too is this present in Generation Z as we approach March for Our Lives.
March for Our Lives will take place on March 24th, 2018. Marches will occur on the streets of Washington DC, among many other cities, such as Milwaukee and Chicago. The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is “to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.” So, in peaceful protest, the children of America will be protesting for their own protection, for their own lives.
I cannot answer why laws have not been made yet. I cannot answer why the NRA’s agenda weighs heavier than the lives of children. We can speculate on a number of factors: money, white privilege, mental health, but we must follow in the footsteps of countries that serve by example. We must improve gun laws, and if marching as youths for the lives of youths is necessary in order to push in the right direction, then so be it.
For more information visit: https://marchforourlives.com