The Power in the Silence: Gun Violence Protest

There’s silence. Then there’s chaos. The bullets pierce the glass. Then the boy next to me. This is the day that this is enough.

From James Holmes to Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and to Nikolas Cruz. From a movie theatre to the very seats in our classrooms. Teachers to students, friends to peers. When will it be enough? 

Think of sending your kid to school, you’re on your lunch break at work when you receive a text from your only son that reads, “I love you, mom”. You frantically call your son, call the school, and your heart begins to sink when you receive no response. Little did you know, this was the last you'll hear from him. Imagine the horror of seeing your best friend’s skin be pierced by the flying bullets as his blood begins to spill onto your white shoes. Think of watching your favorite teacher die, the consecutive rounds of horror being fired as the bullets graze your ear. You bite your tongue so that you don’t scream, so that he can’t hear you. Your hands tremble and you cry so loudly, but it’s silent.

Humanity is under fire with congressional and governmental authority pulling the trigger. We rise, place our right hand on our chest and monotonically sing “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” We lie to our own selves when we claim to live a life of liberty when innocent lives are taken due to nefarious gun violence. We are lacerating students from their futures and their justice if we wait around for the next news headline. 

It has been said by MLK that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. There is perhaps no better demonstration of cruelty than shooting the lives of future doctors, lawyers, and service men down, and letting it happen. To me, it underscores the “land of the free and home of the brave” that we sing to, and the “with liberty and justice for all” we all pledge to.

That is why today, I walked out during my third period and made my way to join hundreds of students on the football field. 

I stood there,  some with their heads bowed, some crying, some holding hands. Even some with their eyes closed. Today I exercised my rights to stand up for what I believe in, to stand up for change. We, as a student body and community, came together to protest against gun violence and mourn the deaths of the students in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. 

Today, there was power. There was strength in numbers.  Today was the day that it was more than enough. Today was the day that the silence was loud. Today was the day that it was more than enough. 

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Maia Sandoval1 Comment