Teens: Enough is Enough

Art by M.Smith

For 17 minutes on the morning of Wednesday, March 14, schools across the nation participated in the National School Walkout to support the 17 victims of the Parkland, Florida, shooting and demand STRONGER better gun laws. Hundreds of students and staff employees and parents marched to give attention to legislators about gun-control issues, on how the number of lives have been because of gun violence. 

The fear of the occurrence of gun violence across America has been often that the point of asking for gun control is no longer about focusing on the guns themselves. Innocent lives who perished in the violence BECAUSE of them is the main voice as to why we need to be a better law to protect lives from GUNS it. It has gotten to the point that schools have to organize a march to give the lawmakers a wake-up call about what really is happening. 

Though the option is for any school levels, certain schools have chosen to not to participate loudly. Not all schools have participated in the movement. High schools participated the most in Long Beach, being the most frequent to be heard about. LBCC has not been vocal about the protest, and universities such as UCLA and Dartmouth have given support to any future or current students that they will not be penalized if they have chosen to demonstrate and have voices heard. 

Schools may have policies about the right of students to have the freedom of speech or expression.  The event was voluntary though some schools have even taken measure to give consequences if students participated. One can only assume many things that could include the campus’ reputation in line if any students became disruptive while participating. In an extreme case, police can even arrest students if necessary. Safety could also be another reason as to why some chose not to participate. Everyone has the right to believe causes they want to support and the walkout happens to be a tricky one because it involves more than one chain of people. It can have a domino effect on how everyone shares their thoughts and opinions, but it seems that the closer you are to the higher law power, the less people care. The Amendments are the main reason we cannot move forward easily because of the mention of the right to keep and bear arms of the second amendment shall not be infringed. We have eyes on the consequences of supporting natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression and defense of our state, and it’s is the death of innocent people nowhere near the line of war and violence.

If someone we know comes close to the call of death, we feel deeply affected because that person could’ve meant so much. It could be a sibling, a parent, a best friend or even a neighbor. Gun-violence victims were once one of those titles to someone close to them. Families devastated about the loss of a friend, a son, a daughter, a cousin or even a niece hits close to home. The murders catch the attention of the media everywhere and the cycle begins. We hear a shooting, we hear the names of the victims, the lawmakers give condolences and suggest what to do and unfortunately, another shooting happens. It has been a repetitive situation that children as young as the ones in kindergarten are worrying about how to respond to those violent situations instead of being carefree and in the playground making friends. A single city is not a strong enough voice for what needs to be done. 

If we strip away the titles of the protesters and supporters for the walkout, then we can see that they are kids and adults who at the end of the day, have a home to go back to. The violence across the nation has resulted in them not being able to go back to a home that was once meaningful to them after the loss of someone they have held dear in their hearts. Looming fear of instantly losing someone in a place that we thought was once safe is now evident. Enough is enough, but for those who have marched in support for what had to be dealt with in the loss and grief of others, the fight had just begun.