“17 people die in a high school and a month later there’s a nationwide protest to get the attention of lawmakers.
One dog dies on an airplane and there’s a bill in the Senate rectifying it within 48 hours”
– Dennis Mersereau
On Wednesday March 14th, around 3,000 schools across the U.S. took part in #NationalWalkoutDay. For 17 minutes, students left their classrooms to pay respects to the 17 children who died in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting. This protest was organised by the students who started the #NeverAgain movement. The #NationalWalkoutDay and #NeverAgain campaigns were started with the intention of fighting for gun control in the United States. The founders of the movement who are only in High School have been called “baldface liars” and one referred to as a “skinhead lesbian.”The Z-generation have continued to move forward with their political beliefs despite the insults made from members of Congress.
Whilst the deaths of their friends are still fresh in their minds, the Parkland activists have made incredible progress and gun control has been the topic of conversation since the fatal February shooting. The governor of Florida signed a sweeping gun safety bill, Oregon instated a gun control law, big corporations have cut ties with the NRA and students all around the U.S. are protesting against gun violence. Students have sat down with members of government and instead their motives have been shifted so the gun control conversation continues to be silenced. When they requested to speak on Gun Control, the topic chosen was pornography. Regardless, these students are steadfast and goal orientated.
With more voices joining the journey for change, lawmakers will soon be pressured to come up with reasonable changes. These students have continued to shed light on the issue and keep it relevant, yet the older generation which have called millennials and the Z-generation useless have ridiculed and insulted them.
Some of the responses the #NeverAgain movement show just how unconcerned members of government are. They complain that the new generation stand for nothing, don’t believe in anything and are completely consumed by social media and their own egos. Millennial’s get blamed for anything and everything; every time a company files for bankruptcy or loses sales, they blame millennial’s. Toys ‘R’ Us are arguing that millennial’s are partly responsible for the company’s downfall. The older generation are saying these young adults don’t have the mental capacity or life experience to talk about gun control. Maturity comes with experience and I believe that the death of their loved ones is enough experience to see a flaw in the system. An 85 year old man are vandalized his own property to demonstrate hatred instead of using his big boy voice. F.Y.I black people don’t say “Blacks Rule”.
Lawmakers are gambling with lives because they don’t want to change laws that benefit them. Guns are a billion dollar industry that feeds a lot of these lawmakers; Firearms makeup $31.8 billion of the US economy. Companies such as Walmart and United Airlines, would rather have money than save lives. Which is ironic because they were put in these positions by people in society who expect them to have their best interest at heart.
These children are trying to create change that desperately needs to happen; they’re finding the courage to speak out whilst mourning and instead of being heard, Republicans like Leslie Gibson are calling them ‘Skinhead Lesbian’. Very mature bro.
Some of the lawmakers are really showing their true colors and revealing how they truly fear about situations, whilst being covered by the First Amendment, they are still facing consequences. They have slandered and disrespected the younger generation because they don’t understand the life we live, the policies we have to live by. The older generation had policies that benefited them: housing was cheaper, jobs were easily obtained, healthcare was available for them, and basic necessities weren’t overpriced. Our generation have to give up an arm and leg just to survive but we’re apparently ungrateful, avocado on toast eating, idiots. “The i-generation. We’re racially diverse, sexually diverse, ultra socially conscious, and hypersensitive.” This generation won’t take no for an answer. At LAPP we encourage everyone who can to take part in the next #NationalWalkoutDay (April 20th). To the founders of #NeverAgain, keep applying pressure and don’t give up. This purpose is so much bigger and everyone at LAPP is so very proud of you!
Written by Tolu Martins