We are four months into 2023. In those four months, there have been 160 mass shootings. That is more mass shootings than there have been days in the year so far. Any other country would have never let the number of mass shootings get that high, but apparently, seeing young children in body bags is not enough for them. Pace University students decided to take it upon themselves and use their voices.
On Monday, April 10, Pace University students took to the streets in a demonstration against gun violence. The demonstration was held outside of 1 Pace Plaza, and students brought different signs to express their frustration and anger. Some of the signs said things like, “I want to be a teacher, not dead,” and “What do you wanna be IF you grow up?” The demonstration had different speakers, varying between students and professors, who shared personal stories and led different chants. I talked to some of the Pace University students that attended the demonstration and got their thoughts on the issue of gun violence in our country. Christina Guy, a junior Education major at Pace and the Campus Correspondent/President of Her Campus at Pace, when asked about why she came out to the demonstration stated: “…This rally has kinda been my passion project recently. I was really really affected by the Nashville shooting and all of it, knowing this is the climate of schools I’m going into, knowing that I’m not safe in my own profession and something I care so deeply about is just impossible, it’s heartbreaking, and I just felt like I had to do something, no matter how inconsequential it may seem to other people, I had to get my voice out there, I had to get people together that all felt the same way so that we can bring more people into it.”
Patty, another freshman at Pace University, shared their thoughts with me as well: “I haven’t quite been personally affected by shootings since the only one a few of my friends were involved in survived it, but it’s still really scary that this keeps happening. I gave a speech [at the rally]. I noticed with other countries, they pay attention to what the people want and change it. For some reason, the U.S. is only concerned about money, and it makes me really really angry that they aren’t putting their [citizens] first, and they are putting themselves first like the future doesn’t matter.”
Olivia Bush, a freshman at Pace University and a member of Her Campus at Pace, told me, “I’m just tired. I’m exhausted and frustrated with our government, and the lack of action and the inability to care for their own people.”
Students at Pace University are angry. We’re scared. We’re tired of living in constant fear no matter if we’re in school, at the grocery store, or at a movie theater. We want change. The demonstration may not have seemed important to someone who passed by on their way to their lunch break or class, but it gained the attention of some passersby that stopped to see what was going on, and that’s the important part. The louder we are, the more we make our voices heard, and the harder it is for Congress to ignore us. Students Against Gun Violence at Pace University are working on another important, non-violent movement against gun violence for the future. If you’re not a Pace University student, you may be wondering, what can I do to speak up? Talk to your university, get a group of people together, and hold your own demonstrations. Call your representatives. Yes, donations are great, and there are a bunch of places online that you can donate to, but we need to make our voices heard. As I said, the louder we are, the harder it is for the legislature to ignore us.