On March 24th, 2018 hundreds of thousands of people came together to march in Washington, DC and at over 800 other sibling sites around the globe to bring attention to gun violence. Inspired and organized by victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School on Valentines day earlier this year, the March for Our Lives march aimed to put pressure on legislatures in the pocket of the National Rifle Association (NRA) to enact gun control measures. Their main message: the lives of our children are worth more than our right to bear arms.
It’s argued that the second amendment is long-outdated due to it being written during a time when assault weapons and high-capacity magazines didn’t exist, and it took several minutes to reload a gun. In the 21st century, guns with destructive capabilities our forefathers could never have imagined are plentiful and can easily be obtained by anyone over the age of 18. While some guns can be useful in certain situations (hunting and house safety), I fail to see the advantage of assault weapons. Where would high powered weapons such as these be necessary and more advantageous to use than less powerful guns? I can’t think of a single place besides at a mass shooting or maybe during the zombie apocalypse. Let’s be real, what’s the chance of the latter happening?
When people hear “gun control”, they often believe that supporters are trying to take away all guns, but this is not the case. While some do believe that no one should own a gun under any circumstance, the official stance of those organizing the March for Our Lives Rally is this:
Enact universal, comprehensive background checks
Allow the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to create a digital, searchable database of gun sales (people at the ATF currently have to search by hand through paper documents and pdf files)
Give funds for gun violence research to the Center of Disease Control (they currently don’t provide funding for this research because it could lead to them getting all their funding pulled)
Ban high-capacity magazines and assault weapons
I, personally, do not think these demands are too far-fetched. They allow the deadliest of firearms to be taken out of people’s hands and also afford government agencies more ways of keeping us safe from gun violence. Law abiding citizens who use their guns responsibly shouldn’t be afraid of these measures and this is the least the government can do to help keep us safe from mass shootings.
The students who have stood up following the Parkland shooting to advocate for better gun control are doing an amazing job. Their incredible courage following this traumatic event fills me with pride but also leaves me wondering what I can do to help. Besides also being a strong advocate of gun control and supporting them during this fight, we who are in college can help by making sure to vote for representatives who share our concerns and aren’t being bought out by the NRA. Many of these students are not yet voting age, so it is up to us to vote. This year is particularly important because it is the midterm elections. Currently both the senate and congress are controlled by republicans who have, historically, been against gun control. This year we have the opportunity to shift control and put more people willing to at least discuss gun control in government positions. Primaries are being held throughout the year and the general election is on November 6th. The general election will decide who controls both the senate and the house and so it is incredibly important for people to get out and vote. If you take nothing else away from the March for Our Lives I hope it’s that inaction is no longer a viable strategy. We need to act now. Bellow are more resources and information regarding gun control and legislature and the March for Our Lives