This is what Democracy looks like

I'm just going to put this artfully worded post right here and let it speak for itself.  Special thank you to Malaika B. for taking time to reflect in writing about her experience marching with her peers in Washington D.C.  

Walkout for gun reform:  A student's perspective

Malaika at the student walkout for gun reform in Washington D.C,

Yesterday afternoon I had the privilege of getting to go to what I hope is the first step in a nationwide attempt to reform gun control. The parkland shootings were a horrific act of violence that were preventable. This shooting had scared me a lot more than the others had and I was starting to get used to the feeling of anxiousness that accompanied my hours in school or in any sort of public forum. Our education should not be marked with the fear of getting killed. Yet I wasn't sure I was going to go to the march, the every day anxiety of schoolwork and my facing my teacher's wrath became momentarily stronger than the passion I felt for gun control. I am infinitely grateful for my community and my friends telling me I would regret not going- because I would have regretted not going more than anything in the world.

From the first tiny step we took out of our class at 9:20 to the bigger steps we took while marching to the Capitol, I felt that change was in the air. I can't describe the feeling of pride that swelled in my heart when I saw my classmates, my peers marching alongside me, making history. The idea that we were just kids is one that particularly stuck in my head as I saw everyone wearing their school backpacks, holding up posters they had made on construction paper in the metro. There were no adults marching alongside us but it was an encouragement to see them cheering us on from the sidelines.

We may not be able to vote but this march made me feel like we could make a difference, that our actions were effecting positive change in the world.

Students are the ones being effected by these school shootings and if congress isn't going to step us for us- we need to step up. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland congressmen, compared us to the civil rights movement and while of course we didn't suffer nearly as much to protest- I like that image. I like the idea that students banding together can make a change.

To all the congressmen that have been saying that we will forget about gun control when the new Snapchat update comes out- I promise you that we will not- we will honor those who lost their lives and we will keep fighting and when we turn 18- you will be held accountable for your lack of action in the voting booths.  - Malaika B.

Karen GrossComment