Voice of the Youth

Posted by on Mar 26, 2018 in ComLead

This weekend drew millions of people around the world to come together and speak out against gun violence. No matter what your take on the situation is, there is something that should be said about the overwhelmingly large amount of youth not just present, but speaking and organizing the March for Our Lives campaign.

These are children who have either been victims, close to victims, or have witnessed gun violence and are not only traumatized but outraged over the lack of legal change following some of the recent mass shootings. And in their defiance to this lack of action, they came together to form a march.

The purpose of these marches is for activists to gather together to speak up on present issues and argue for the changes that they wish to see. In this scenario that is stricter gun control laws. Many of the survivors of the most recent mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida organized and attended different marches throughout the United States and since the attack in February, changes are already beginning to take effect.

Both Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods – two of the biggest gun retailers – raised their age requirement to purchase a gun in their stores to 21, and Dick’s ended the sales of all assault-style rifles as well as any high-capacity magazines.

Those who oppose these marches are those who either do not agree with the topic, or do not see the effect of using your voice. But stores are changing their policies, and the next round of voters are the seniors graduating from high schools all over the country. These determined and assertive individuals are already pressing for what they want and they will be voting for that come November as well.

At mass for Palm Sunday yesterday, Pope Francis spoke from the Vatican directly to these fierce young individuals and stated: “Dear young people, you have it in you to shout.” While he did not directly mention the topic, it was clear that he was standing in solidarity by telling the marchers to keep persistent. He went on to say: “It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?”

Nothing ever changes if people do not stand up and advocate for that change and the number one way to do so is to use your voice. So whether you are for or against stricter gun control, or any of the pressing social issues marches have been held for, do not let anyone talk you down from fighting for what you believe.

And remember to vote.

Resources: After Children Marched For Their Lives, Pope Francis Urged Young People to ‘Keep Shouting’

March for Our Lives Highlights: Students Protesting Guns Say ‘Enough is Enough’

Walmart and Dick’s Raise Minimun Age for Gun Buyers to 21

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