What the Sebring Shooting Means for Gun Control Activists

Lately, shootings have been a common theme in the media. After the third deadliest school shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the fight for common sense gun reform erupted. Students all over the world spoke out about the lack of safety in schools and advocated for change. The MSD students used their powerful voices to enact laws like the MSDHS Public Safety Act and launched a major debate about assault-style weapons on the streets.

Although the protests and marches brought progress, shootings have still been happening and politicians have still not put a stop to it. Take the Sebring shooting from last Wednesday as an example. Five innocent people were shot at a bank and politicians did what they do best: send thoughts and prayers and move on.

As a large supporter of the March For Our Lives, I believe that the movement is far from over and that change will come, however slowly. The Sebring shooting goes to show that. Although it was another tragedy, it demonstrated that the fight is far from over. Students will continue to protest and raise their voices in order to create more change.

Even if what occurred in Sebring did not affect you personally, there are many ways to prevent more shootings. The gun debate is not over and there are still countless opportunities to get involved. Here are some ways to do that:

Call local politicians.

The quickest way to effect change is to call politicians at the local level. You can speak to them about policy and see what they have to say about gun control. Most are willing to talk about it and hear students’ thoughts, and others are not. Whatever the case may be, actively calling shows that you are persistent and are demanding change. Politicians will certainly get the message.

Get to know a politician’s platform.

Let’s say you were going on a trip and wanted to invite someone to go with you. You wouldn’t just close your eyes, choose a completely random person, and hope for the best. The same goes for voting for politicians. In order to feel comfortable, you want to vote for someone who advocates for the same things you believe in. Get to know exactly what the politician stands for so you are not surprised by the laws they put in place.

March and vote.

Physically yell for change at a march or protest—it feels pretty great. When people take to the streets, politicians surely notice and can choose to act on it. Protests like those demonstrated during the Vietnam War and after the Stoneman Douglas shooting have brought about great results. If marching is not your forte, you can show your power by going to the polls and voting when the time comes. Having your voice heard is important in whichever manner you show it.

The Sebring shooting goes to show that gun control activism is not over. Every victim of every shooting deserves justice, and the way to honor them is to fight for what is right. This list is not exhaustive, meaning that there are plenty of other ways to create change. Go out there and use your voice, because your words mean so much.

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