What’s Left: On the March For Our Lives

Never Again

Hundreds of thousands of protesters in Washington, D.C. chanted, “Enough is enough,” on Saturday during the March For Our Lives, a protest calling for increased gun control in the United States. Following the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, the gun debate has resurfaced, this time stronger than ever. The march in Washington, D.C., which was organized by the victims of the Parkland shooting, portrays the impact of teenage activism and gives us hope that this time might actually be different; different because this time large-scale action seeks to change legislation rather than offer condolences. 

Proponents of increased gun regulation realize that preventive measures will make it more difficult to obtain weapons, thereby reducing the prevalence of mass shootings in the United States. The student activists leading these protests are addressing politicians directly, asking them not to accept donations from the NRA in order to take an active stance in support of gun control. This will minimize the power of the NRA in politics and result in active legislative change. “Thoughts and prayers” are not enough to bring about the change that we need in this country. We need our representatives to stand up against the NRA and rise up in support of the victims of these tragedies. 

Those against gun control argue that this would be an infringement upon Second Amendment rights and would directly go against the Constitution. When did gun ownership become more important than the lives of our own citizens? The current regulations on guns are not adequate if a 19-year-old who showed all the signs of a school shooter was able to legally obtain an assault weapon. What’s worse is that there had been

reports that the Parkland shooter was a threat, yet he was still able to legally purchase a weapon without sparking any suspicion from the FBI. This should make us, as a nation, enraged that the lives of 17 people could have been saved had there been stricter regulations in place. “Never Again” is an appropriate slogan as protesters refuse to back down until their demands are met and gun control policies take effect.

In response to the Parkland shooting and subsequent protests and school walkouts, President Trump has made some concessions regarding gun control. He has made proposals to raise the age requirement for buying certain types of rifles and to ban bump stocks altogether. He received backlash from the NRA regarding these proposals, as the NRA played a major role in his election in 2016. However, despite these proposals, Trump remains a staunch supporter of the NRA, claiming they are “great patriots.” Another controversial proposal that has been discussed is the possibility of arming teachers as a defense against mass shooters. Many activists are not pleased with this possibility due to the financial restraints of the matter as well as the potential dangers of guns in classrooms. March For Our Lives will not be the last protest in favor of gun control. Student activists will continue to protest until they can feel safe at school. Another school walkout is planned for April 20 on the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. I urge you to take a stance and become an active supporter of this movement so that we can ensure that the Parkland shooting is the last mass tragedy in

this nation. 

Contact Rachel Gunders at [email protected].