Contributed by Isabella Pruscino |
In the midst of all the attacks, all the hate, all the tragedies that have occurred just within 2018 alone, there has been a light waiting to shine that could overpower the sun. That light was the March for Our Lives movement on March 24. People gathered, young and small, despite their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender in local marches or in the main march held in Washington, D.C. I think it’s important to understand that this march was not just filled with people, it was filled with Americans. The Americans who want change and were willing to scream at the top of their lungs until every politician in America could hear our voices, loud and clear as if they were marching right next to us. We held our signs proudly in the air, demanding a ban on the selling of assault rifles to those who are not in the military or law enforcement.
I have lived in fear of guns ever since I was introduced to them in second grade, where we learned how Martin Luther King Jr. was shot after speaking his mind. When I was 10, I saw reports of the Sandy Hook shooting on the news. Children who looked smaller than me were found dead. I remember thinking how those children could have been me. During my sophomore year of high school, I heard that a student at Parkland killed 17 innocent people. I did not march today for only those two mass shootings, I marched for every life lost in any place due to gun violence, no matter the number of deaths.
Emma González, Cameron Kasky, David Hogg and Jaclyn Corin are some of the many young adults who are speaking out on this issue. All four of these students have inspired me to dive deeper and study more about this issue. They’ve proved to our nation that although we are young, we do know what we are talking about. Emma González gave a heartbreaking speech which lasted around six minutes at the march in Washington D.C. Those six minutes were the same amount of time it took for all 17 lives in Parkland, Florida to be lost. It breaks my heart that this issue is still occurring and that very little has been done.
Marching for me today was not only something I wanted to do, it was something I felt I had to do. Students should not walk into their classrooms and think about possible places to hide in case of a school shooting. It should not just be a time for thoughts and prayers, although those are necessary; it is a time for America to realize why we are the only country that goes through mass shootings more commonly than natural disasters. People are not just afraid to go to school, they’re afraid to go to the movies, the park or the mall, just to name a few. If the March for Our Lives movement has taught anyone anything, it’s that it’s time to stop letting these tragedies happen. In the words of Emma González, “It’s time to start doing something.”
Isabella Pruscino, Hazlet
Raritan High School
This article was first published in the March 29-April 5, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
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