How to Make the Gun Control Movement More Effective
I am Social Lead for Kansas City Students Demand Action, and on April 20, 2019, we held an event to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Columbine shooting and the one-year anniversary of the National School Walkout. We wanted to signal to the survivors of the Parkland shooting and the countless other school shootings that have occurred across America that we continue to stand by them. And we intended to show the gun lobby and legislators across the country that our action is just beginning.
Speakers included representatives from other local organizations such as Moms Demand Action and Grandparents Against Gun Violence, a representative from the office of Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, former Congressional candidate and local teacher Tom Niermann, as well as Congresswoman Sharice Davids.
We student activists are fighting for safety in schools in the form of more effective gun laws. Nearly 40,000 people were killed due to gun violence in 2017 alone.* We believe in regulating guns, stricter background checks, and mental health screenings so that gun-related violence and deaths can decrease in this country. We have a right to feel safe in our community and especially in our schools.
Recently, there has also been a string of tragic events involving survivors, from shootings such as Parkland, and parents of victims, taking their own lives. We have to understand that school shootings are not singular, isolated events. Their effects manifest in the form of fear, anxiety, PTSD, and depression in everyone they touch. Just as the pain of the Parkland Shooting did not subside after a year of healing, the issue of gun violence did not go away after a year of hard work. This fight must continue.