Why Our Voices Matter

We will not be silenced.

Chloe Ward, Contributor

Our generation has often been criticized for being lazy and too obsessed with social media and our phones. The fact of the matter is that we have grown up in a technological era, and with that technology we have been exposed to more of the world than many adults give us credit for. Not only do we have easy access to more information than many of them did at our age, we inform ourselves of the harsh realities that people all over the world face.

We will not be silenced. We will not sit by and watch the world that we will have to live in be stuck in the past. We will not sit back and watch innocent lives stolen at the hands of something that could have been prevented.This is the world that we will live in, that our children will live in, and their children. It is important to realize that while we may not be ‘adults’ (despite many of the leaders of the March For Our Lives movement being legal adults), our voices deserve to be heard. We deserve to be listened to.

I think that it’s very important to listen to all viewpoints, but these very same people who say that teenagers’ opinions are invalid and not worth listening to are the same ones who say we do not listen to reason. Especially in regards to gun-control, the voices of American youth should become even more important. Teenagers are often the victims of shootings, from the inner-city to school shootings.

Once you are old enough to get shot-especially at a place that should be safe, like school- you are old enough to have an opinion about it. The students at the face of this movement witnessed their friends and peers shot in cold blood. Some of them even were shot themselves. They heard every shot ring out and they watched the life leave their friends, and they felt the pain firsthand and witnessed it in everyone else. The amount of trauma they have endured is something that no one should ever have to go through again. They should have never gone through it either.

The fact that people are vehemently saying that nothing we say is worthwhile and that it is violating second amendment rights or that it will not change anything are wrong. Firstly, the majority of people-including those at the head of the March for Our Lives movement- are calling for gun control, meaning more regulations, regulation with hopes that it would lessen the likelihood of tragic, senseless events like this from occurring.

The second amendment is not exempt from being altered. In fact, much of the constitution has been altered by new amendments- like the ones giving women the right to vote and African-Americans the right to not be enslaved. Times are changing, and as the times change, laws need to change too. Our government is flawed, just as most things are, and just because something has been one way for a while does not justify it being exempt from change.

We have grown up seeing innocent people die from these senseless crimes. We watched Sandy Hook shooting on the news, seeing the devastation it caused the community and their families. We watched on TV the news of Pulse nightclub shooting, where 50 people lost their lives. When the Las Vegas shooting occurred last October, we had to watch. Mass shootings have become normalized. They have lost their shock factor. Now, news networks will cover them for maybe a little while, and then on to the next. People send their ‘thoughts and prayers’, but then more innocent people are killed at the hands of a gun. Prayers don’t stop children from being afraid from going to school. Thoughts don’t change anything.  

Gun control is necessary in America. Guns have become an issue all over the country, and anyone who says that ‘gun control won’t fix anything’ and that teenagers don’t know anything should really listen to us before they make assumptions.  Wherever you stand on the issue, it is important to see that we are the voices of the future, and to create a better tomorrow, it is important to listen to us today.