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Yellow Caution Tape: March For Our Lives Panel Recap

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

On March 27, 2023, three children and three staff members at an elementary Presbyterian school in Nashville, Tennessee were killed in a shooting. This latest massacre marks the 13th school shooting in the U.S. this year — it is only March.

Stricter gun laws have been a passionate topic for Gen Z and Monday’s incident sparked more fury. The Tennessee State Capitol was bombarded by parents and students demanding more gun control just three days after the shooting.

In honor of the five-year anniversary of “March for Our Lives” a student interviewer, a “March for Our Lives” board member as well as the co-founder of the movement discussed gun violence and invited a politician to contribute to the conversation. Each speaker shared their personal stories and experiences with gun violence that served as motivation to join organizations and movements to stop this epidemic.

When asked how to share stories about gun violence without instilling fear, co-founder of “March for Our Lives” and former Parkland student, David Hogg, answered confidently: “…it’s about turning victimization as the common characterization of what we’ve gone through in the media into a form of empowerment and acknowledging that we’re not just victims, that we’re activists… political operatives that are working to create change…”

Hogg continued to address young people’s fears about going to school and how the trauma serves as a bond for students. Hogg also mentioned he visited Michigan State University (MSU) following the on-campus shooting earlier this year and met MSU students that also suffered the Oxford, Michigan school shooting in 2021.

Gen Z is tired of fighting this never-ending battle on gun reform against politicians who continue to defend the second amendment. The panel addressed how colleges could defend themselves against gun violence; Hogg answered, “…making sure that students are more able to access their state legislatures.” 

Voting is an important part of being an American citizen and we should exercise that right. Educating yourself and others on laws is a passageway to updating them and is vital in making change.

I learned a lot from listening to this panel and am inspired by what these young people are doing to educate the opposing side and change the laws. An essential message the panelists stressed is that we need to stop the problem from the root so that nobody wants to touch a gun to harm anyone or themselves in the first place.

Addressing mental health, sharing resources and confronting root problems are steps in the right direction to stop destruction from spreading. Voting at the state level helps the right local leaders step into office and represent the majority opinion on gun reform. What will you do for America to hear your voice?

Ariana is a fashion merchandising major and theater minor at Virginia Commonwealth University with interests in costume design and film. She is a member of the editorial team and is enthusiastic about sustainability, fashion, beauty, mental health, and current events. She loves supporting women through HC.