October 20, 2018

Youth retaliation against gun laws – an open letter to Donald Trump

I don’t know where it will happen next, who it will happen to. Will it be my school? Will it be my classmates? Will it be me? No, I reassure myself, it couldn’t be. Right?

There are schools down in the city where a gunshot ringing in the streets is no profound occurrence. The news tells tales of fatal fights and drive-bys daily. There have been eighteen school shootings in seven short weeks, and you don’t hesitate to fire back that in most of those cases, no one was even killed. You claim that a gun-inflicted suicide on school grounds isn’t really a “school shooting.”

But who are we as humans to say that a bullet flying through the window of a high school is no significant event? An accidental misfiring at a university or a third-grader pulling the trigger of an officer’s handgun is no news-worthy incident? Have we become so numb as a society to argue these tragic considerations? Are the lives of your own children worth less than your political affiliations?

Let’s keep broadcasting and spoon-feeding this country twitter politics and failing promises of a greater America. Because in this day and age, if the game you speak is even larger than your ego, your place in office is secured. If the number of lies you preach matches your entire net worth, the ears of Americans are all yours.

I’m not getting ahead of myself here – the issue of guns in America has always been a political one. This Amendment you hide behind was written 227 years ago – in a time where guns had one singular purpose: to kill. Saying the Second Amendment should still stand true verbatim now just as it did back then, is like saying a newborn has the same needs as a 19 year old. So, since your initiative never seems to actually take action, we, the youth of America, will. Since your words spout fire, hate, and terror, we will spread peace – until peace reigns true. The time to talk about it is now. In the words of Cameron Kasky of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, “you are either with us or against us, we are losing our lives while the adults play around.”

You have already shown us it’s possible to govern a country from social media, and we as a youth culture understand our opportunity for change is limitless. We are incomparably more ingrained and in tune with the abilities of social media and using the world as our network. We are wiser and more educated than ever before, and our unification is one wall that will actually be built. I will not stand by while my brothers and sisters are being massacred by each other with the guns you handed them. I will not remain quiet while you falsely promise reform. Yes, poor mental health is an issue, but it is one that cannot be solved. A futile fight may be one in which you try to stifle those who are “not right in the head,” so instead help decrease the means by which they can acquire these weapons.

I’ve lived my entire life in this era of school shooting constancy, I’ve known nothing different. Shame on you, ever-so-wise elders, for doing nothing to show me any better. I am through with complacency: time’s up. The future of America is now in the hands of the youth, and we are not quieting down any time soon.

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