Gun control: teens fight laws
High school students push for change against gun control laws
April 12, 2018
Valentine’s Day, a national holiday, is usually celebrated with joyous spirits of love, appreciation, and acts of kindness. A day that may have been cherished by the community in Parkland, Florida is now a symbol of the tragic, fatal events that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school due to gun violence.
Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year old shooter, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. Authorities said that the weapon of choice Cruz used in this shooting was an AR-15 rifle (semi-automatic assault style-rifle) that has also been the choice of weapon for numerous other mass shootings, including a Las Vegas concert, Orlando nightclub, and elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health concluded in 2011 that mass shootings have occurred at triple the rate from 1982. There’s, on average, an occurrence every 64 days.
Due to dozens of high school mass shootings since Columbine in 1999, which is no longer considered in the list of top 10 mass shootings, gun control laws for the U.S. have shown flaws in the system as teenagers continue to gain access of semi automatic weapons.
However, our current President and Republican government officials don’t blame the gun control laws set, so they advocate “it’s not about guns – it’s about mental health” after every school massacre.
They focus on mental-health monitoring and treatment concerning mental health disorders. However, this shooting has sparked a new flame amongst students to get involved in gun control politics.
Students are taking a stand against the system of gun control laws and pushing for change with their speeches and criticism of our government. Florida students have been calling out to all high school students to join their movement and advocate for more protection in their schools.
This movement has sparked controversy nationwide throughout social media networks with comments like, “Teenagers are old enough to have assault weapons, but not opinions?” against critics who try to diminish their opinions and discredit their voices entirely.
Elementary school parents should not have to fear sending their kids to school for an education because they may not come back home that day. High school students should not have to bury and attend numerous funerals of their peers they witnessed murdered right in front of them.
This is the first generation of students who are school-shooting survivors that are media-savvy enough to corner the government with solutions that they’ve usually failed to resolve. They are not “crisis actors”. They will no longer be intimidated by critics and have encouraged high school students to feel the same across the nation.
Potential solutions of this movement further expresses the importance and encouragement of teenagers to always vote and have a say in how their U.S. government is controlled. Not everyone has the same opportunities of voting, and it can be overlooked or not taken advantage of when teenagers don’t vote.
We are the next generation of teenagers to potentially have a role and grasp control of our government system, therefore, our opinions are important and should never be silenced. Homewood-Flossmoor high school students can petition against the sale of guns to anyone under the age of 21 and with a mental illness concern or record.
The Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling on students across the nation to participate in a 17-minute walkout at 10 am on March 14, 2018. Another walkout date scheduled is on April 20.
Now is not the time for our nation to let another school massacre be swept under the rug without the result of drastic changes in our government laws and system. It is up to us to finally establish a firm stance of advocating persistent change against our government’s gun control policies until we are successful.
Due to this rising movement, teenagers could be the prevention of another innocent high school student losing their life to gun violence.