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The March for Our Lives: The Real Reasons We Marched

We are making history. 

March 24, 2018, the day of the global March for Our Lives will forever be memorable. This day marked only the beginning of the revolution against gun violence in America. 

The March of Our Lives event was originally organized by the student survivors of the February 14th shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The march took the world by storm with over 800 marches worldwide and millions of attendees. 

In Washington DC alone, there was an estimated amount of 800,000 protesters. I am immensely proud to say that my sister, friends, and I were among them.   

My generation has witnessed several mass shootings in our lifetimes, whether through the media or as a firsthand victim. Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Pulse, Vegas, Parkland. The list unfortunately goes on.

A significant amount of people, especially in politics or in the media, have been getting mixed up when it comes to the premise of the March of Our Lives. President Donald Trump has not issued any statements regarding the march just yet. Not even a tweet, which was expected. On the other hand, Floridian Senator Marco Rubio (R) took it upon himself to issue a statement to the social media platform on the day of the march: 

FOX News reporter Tomi Lahren, who is better known on the internet as “Tammy Lasagna,” as depicted in the replies of this tweet, has also weighed in her opinion on the march:

While their opinions are equally as respected as the ones who marched, it does not really occur to them that the March for Our Lives is not merely a march against the NRA or the 2nd amendment, and that this is not just another political debate. It is not a matter of what the left or right wing wants, but it is a matter of what Americans want… and that is to stay alive and to save lives.

We primarily marched because we want America to be safe again. 

We want a ban not on all guns, but on powerful weapons and assault rifles such as AR-15s (although it is not fully automatic) and AK-47s— weapons that are not recreational, but meant to KILL. 

We do not want to disrespect or abolish the 2nd amendment altogether (which was written nearly 3 centuries ago). What we do want is to enact stricter gun laws, which call for background checks, digitizing records for gun sales and avoiding straw-man purchases. We want to close gun-show loopholes and to ban high capacity magazines. We want to raise the age of obtaining a gun to 21 rather than the current age of 18.

If change does not happen, we have already proven that we will make it happen. Whether it is because politicians and lawmakers actually listen to the people of this country and enact stricter laws or because we will vote them out of office— change is going to happen. 

In order for change to occur, we need to keep fighting. We need to conduct research and we need to educate ourselves. We need to register to vote and we need to increase turnout by voting in the midterm elections on November 6, 2018. As of right now, the voting demographics are at an all time low and exemplify why nothing has changed significantly in recent years. 

We need to make our voices heard, because we are the future. 

Image sources:

1, 2, 5, 6, & 7 provided by the author.

3 & 4 provided by Nicole Wills and Lena Daniels.

Samantha Olson is a University of Central Florida alumna who served as senior and deputy editor for HCUCF. She graduated with a bachelor of arts in journalism with a minor in creative writing and a certificate in editing and publishing. When Sam isn't admiring city life and art museums, she's working as Seventeen Magazine's editorial fellow and running Shifter Mag alongside her BFF, Victor.  For daily doses of Sam, follow her on Instagram.
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