A student should never have to go to school in fear of not coming home and yet, this is our reality. Time and time again, we have seen the failure to enact proper gun safety laws needed to protect U.S. residents. Gun violence is not a complex problem to solve; it is instead a direct question of whether our country has the social and political will to protect its people. Whether it be easy access to wartime weapons, the lack of proper background checks across our country, or the overall constant sway of the National Rifle Association in our nation’s politics, we have had enough. The time is now to stand up to our country’s policymakers.
Every day, we become desensitized to gun violence. We, students of U.S. schools, are ushered out of the comfort of our own living spaces to sit underneath the fluorescent lights of an educational institution. We are told that these institutions are the foundations of our lives and to “stay in school kids.” But if school is in fact the foundation of our lives, why aren’t we protected from dying in one? If education is so imperative, why do we have to risk our lives to receive it?
The harsh reality of life here in the United States is that students are reduced to numbers, whether it be a statistic or the ones that come after a dollar sign. There isn’t a viable justification for Governor Greg Abbot, the elected leader of our state, to recount the agonizing details of the events that took place at Robb Elementary on the 25th of May, only to then celebrate the very weapon that claimed twenty one lives just two days later. We are tired of the blatant apathy we receive from public officials. We no longer want “thoughts and prayers” Twitter templates that politicians seem to just copy and paste. We demand policy and action. We won’t see the protection against gun violence unless we make our voices heard. We must be the change to see the change.
Four years ago, the survivors of the tragic Parkland shooting sought to be the change they wanted to see when they founded March For Our Lives - a national youth-driven movement created to address gun violence and champion gun safety laws. These high school students did not even have time to process what they had gone through before having to take to the streets and protest. Since then, over 400 chapters have been established around the country.
The Houston chapter of March For Our Lives is led by passionate young people who are demanding change. We joined the movement because we could no longer stand by and watch communities fall victim to the hands of gun violence. If we do not take a stand right now, these atrocities will continue. Now is the time to take to the streets, just as we did four years ago, to let the politicians in office understand that we will not tolerate their denial of our right to live. Just as we did in 2018, we will unite under the common cause of advancing public safety and highlighting the importance of bipartisan support needed to enact better gun laws.
Until change is achieved, we will continue to march for our fallen angels from Sandy Hook Elementary School. We will march for our fallen angels from Columbine High School. We will march for our fallen angels from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. We will march for our fallen angels from Buffalo, New York. We will march for our fallen angels from Robb Elementary School. We will march for our lives until our right to live is restored.
Afterword: If you would like to support March for Our Lives Houston, you can donate here: Donate (paypal.com) , visit our website mfolhouston.org, and also follow @mfolhouston on Instagram for more updates about our activities.