Students nationwide lead the movement to end gun violence
Reflections on gun violence: a response to “#Walkout allows political activists to target students” | Kyle Kohner / THE CHIMES
Very few issues make their rounds through the American press, and the nature of social media platforms allows the topic of gun violence and school shootings to circulate even quicker. Politically charged YouTube videos, angry tweets and a noisy panoply of soundbites have done nothing but exacerbate the polarization of the American people beyond the conventional red and blue division. Two weeks ago, in a Chimes opinions piece, the author argued how various political activists turned “public schools into the new political frontier” and “American children are again no longer safe from becoming targets for political activists.” The author certainly succeeded in making some bold claims but failed in extracting the truth from the noise of non-issues and media-induced red herrings.
STUDENTS ARE NOT PAWNS
It is fascinating and important to note how the aforementioned author claimed American school children were the targets of American political activists. He neglected to acknowledge that American school children have been the targets of the flesh-tearing bullets of American school shooters. Nothing can be further from the truth. Gun violence continues to serve as one of the leading causes of death and injury to American school children.
These students were not thrown into the “the political grinding wheel.” The American youth— such as the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School—are leading the movement to end gun violence in a country that continues to boast over 35,000 gun-related deaths per year. Students are becoming activists because our country has failed to keep them safe.
WE APPLAUD THE YOUTH
The author introduced concerns about political activism stating: “the political floodwaters will drown youthful minds.” These students, although young, are not dumb. They realize there is something dangerously wrong when school shootings occur at their highest rates in one of the most advanced western democracies in the world. Students are tired of policymakers and leaders passing the buck and have decided that the only way to change the status quo is to do it themselves. I applaud the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and all other young citizens who have taken the initiative to speak out. In a country where an American woman is shot and killed by her current or former romantic partner every 16 hours, where two-thirds of all suicides are gun-related and when school shootings have become just another statistic, political activists—and the youth— are needed to bring an end to the bloodshed.