Don’t let Douglas become another statistic

By Jordan Brown, Section Editor

It’s been over a month since the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and media coverage of potential legislature or just general precautions to prevent another shooting from happening has slowed to a crawl.

In the weeks following the shooting, many Americans were fired up for change and ready to make history by pushing back against the lazy politicians and pushing forward for a change in legislation. But as more days passed, the more the fire extinguished. Newspapers stopped covering it, politicians introduced completely unrelated bills and proposals, and schools across the country got tired of all the students walking out of classes for peaceful protest.

America is known for focusing on something for a few days and then throwing it to the side to focus on something else that catches its eye, much like a hyperactive child. We, as students, have an obligation to make sure that America’s short attention span doesn’t turn to something else when we haven’t gotten justice for the 17 lives we lost in that shooting. We acknowledge and are grateful for the steps that have been taken towards the goal of justice for those families and our community. But that’s just it; they’re just steps. There’s much more that needs to be done and politicians are stalling because they think that we’re placated by the baby steps they’ve taken towards completing our goal.

Legislation regarding guns and school safety should’ve been changed when Columbine happened in 1999, but it wasn’t. Legislation should’ve been changed when Sandy Hook happened in 2012, but it wasn’t. Why? Because the media, politicians and ordinary citizens allowed it to fade away after just a few moments in the spotlight.

Ways to keep the conversation going is to continue to plan marches to your local city hall, contacting your representatives, and joining other schools’ activism. Douglas survivors Emma Gonzalez, Sarah Chadwick, David Hogg and Cameron Kasky use their immense social media following to plan, organize and advocate for the prevention of gun violence and for the safety of students around the country.

Thousands of people went to planned marches and walkouts nationwide in the past month because students like Gonzalez, Hogg, Kasky and Chadwick took action, standing up for what they believe is right. The march on Washington that took place on March 24, fittingly called March For Our Lives, grew from people marching to the nation’s capitol to people marching to their government buildings on every single continent.

We have to keep talking about it, we have to keep bringing it up, or else it’ll fade into the background and become another statistic. This time will be different, this time has to be different.

Posted: Apr. 10

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