Last decade is marked with several gun violence incidents that shook everyone all over the world, especially the shootings taking place in schools. The Parkland incident that happened in February 2018 resulted in a rise of social activism among students that protest gun violence. More and more young people get involved in this issue as it is not a rare case today, it is a sensitive subject, but yet it is a danger that can happen anytime and anywhere.
Students do not only write assignments, such as an essay about gun control. It is not solely about ethical discussion and essay topics; it is about actions to prevent such tragedies in the future. They are trying to take power in their hands and state their position to make real legislative changes. One can read about gun control, view different opinions and see that the issue is very problematic and painful for many people. The second amendment that deals with gun regulations is viewed by many as a constitutional right of a citizen; that’s why they don’t want to give away this freedom. The debate about control on firearm accessibility goes on, but it is important to understand what it is like to be a student activist.
Parkland Activist on What it is like to be on the Other Side
Cameron Kasky became well-known after the shooting took place in his school, while he was there. The traumatic episode made a 17-years old student an active person to start the whole March for Our Lives Movement. Soon after the tragedy he was called by different news sources and featured many broadcasting programs, stating the strong anti gun position.
Parkland student activist even faced Senator Marco Rubio to ask him some sensitive questions on the topic. He asked whether the senator would agree to never take any money from the NRA, which was perceived with great enthusiasm by the public. However, a year after this incident and media fame he’s gone through, Cameron has come to the conclusion that his position was too harsh in a way.
He claims that he wouldn’t formulate his opinion in such a way as he did as it was not productive and helpful. It is understandable that he made an impact and created a whole new movement; however, no actual legislative changes were made.
March for Our Lives wants control against guns accessibility, claiming that there should be much more attention to who is willing to buy a firearm. They also demand to forbid assault weapons to be sold freely.
Why Students’ Activism is Important?
Being an activist for students is harder, as commonly they are viewed as too young to have an opinion. Generally, the public usually has the idea that students should be busy with studying, writing an essay and not having a voice over such crucial issues as Constitution and gun regulations. That’s why the movement that was started by Kasky is so important – it showed that students have something to say, they want to live in a safer world as they are the victims of the shooting. It became an example that it doesn’t matter how young you are; you can have an opinion and civilian position on such a sensitive matter. Young people are not afraid anymore to say what they think, and they don’t want to stay silent when their lives are being regulated by others.
On the other hand, such a pro-gun control position doesn’t take into consideration many people that are against such changes. For tragedy survivors, it might seem obvious that the control should be much stricter and there should be taken harsh measures. It is understandable, as they have a traumatic experience that makes them emotional about the case.
Dialogue is Important
It is always important to include the counter side in a dialogue. Eventually, the gun question separated the whole nation in two parts that have different opinions and state their own pros and cons. Each part has its own examples and arguments on why everything should be changed or stay the same. The point is that it is impossible to exclude half of the nation from dialogue and take the legislative measures against their will. Democracy doesn’t work like that, and despite the tragedies, there should be a common decision made on the measures to be taken to prevent such cases.
Cameron Kasky has left his own movement to join the dialogue between different parties. He hasn’t changed his opinion, he is still pro-gun control, but he also wants to hear the counter side to define if there any possibility to come to a compromise.
It is probably the sensible way to deal with this issue, as the counter side is as big and people also want their voices to be heard. Second Amendment has been viewed as a part of freedom that is so valued by many citizens. Many of them feel like someone wants to take their freedom away without asking them. It is also crucial to understand that the reasoning behind the shooting lies not only in the perspective of firearm accessibility. There are many social, racial, economic reasons behind it and the solution should take every aspect into consideration.
The debate probably will be long and hard, but it is important that students also take part in it. They are going to live in the future and want to be responsible for the society they are a part of.