By Alexandrea Amazan
Everyone has a voice, and everyone needs to be heard.
It was an amazing experience to see the age range of the people that were marching with me in New York City on Saturday, and how clear it was that we all want the same thing: gun reform.
In an ideal world, I would love for everyone to have their guns taken away to avoid this problem, but I understand that that is unrealistic, and it should be obvious to lawmakers and Congress to understand that these are our children.
Children can grow up to be lawmakers and in Congress, but it will never be possible if they are afraid to attend school to get an education.
During the march, I ended up near a man, Neil, that had a large drum with a fist in the middle banging a beat and yelling, “the people are angry, the people are tired, the people are gonna get you fired.” There were so many voices chanting in unison and the energy was unmatched.
It ended suddenly because as we kept moving forward you could start to hear the music. It was weird that they had speakers lined up along the way playing music as if it was a time to sing. It seemed as if people wanted to say something and the music sort of nulled the importance of what we were marching for.
It was emotional getting prepped for a march like this. I couldn’t stop thinking about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School over 5 years ago, and that those elementary school students will NEVER be able to experience what life can bring.
This is not about walking up to the person getting bullied; those children were not bullying Adam Lanza, this was a mentally ill man who had easy access to a gun and used it as an outlet for his own issues and that is sickening.
Sandy Hook is only 30 minutes away from Sacred Heart University. What if the killer decided to drive a couple of exits down?
I know people roll their eyes when they hear the “what if” scenario, but you cannot anticipate a school shooting, so it’s scary to think that any day it could happen to you.
That is what gun reform is looking for, a restriction on the age limit, a limit of the types of guns sold and just a simple background check for mentally ill and criminals.
There are so many cases where people are killed by stray bullets in the street so guns as a whole are the problem. I know we cannot solve everything overnight but it is a great place to start because you immediately will see a drop in numbers of deaths due to guns.
March for Our Lives was a different environment than the Women’s March. There were so many young children with their parents who understand what is happening to their peers across the country and chant “Never again” and had signs asking “Am I next?”
It’s inspirational that at a young age there are kids that are able to be activists, but it’s also heartbreaking that that have to be.
The people in D.C. are right. This shouldn’t be our battle and we shouldn’t have to worry about feeling unsafe at school. The only thing I should worry about is my homework, but they are making us take to the streets because no one is listening to our needs.
Emma Gonzalez said, “fight for your life before it is someone else’s job.” Adults in Washington cannot fathom what it’s like to lose a classmate to gun violence. It is our experience, it is our job to speak for those who can never take a breath again, and to be the future voice of Americans to show them that we demand change and if Congress can’t do anything, we are not afraid to be the ones to do it.
I encourage everyone to be their own activist and to also join SHU Students Against Gun Violence because if we don’t come together to find strategies for change now, there is no way anything good will happen in the future.
We will expand on more than gun violence, but any issue that is up in the air with the government that you have ideas for, it is good to have a support system that is passionate about that same things as you.
There is no point in keeping silent because you never know what a single voice can do. That’s how any movement begins.
If you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, because unlike Congress, I would love to hear from my peers.
Alexandrea Amazan, sophomore, is a Political Science major with Sociology and Business minors and is a Senator for the Class of 2020 in Student Government. She is also a core member of SHU Students Against Gun Violence.