March for Our Lives opinion: “Today, I marched. And it was an honor”

 

Today, I marched. I marched with people from three years old to 80. I marched with parents, grandparents, students and teachers, and also with people whose profession has nothing to do with schools.  I marched with men and women of all races, sexuality and age, because gun violence affects everyone. I had chills, the good kind, because I marched in a sea of hope for a better future.

Today, I wept. I wept as I listened to a first-hand account from a survivor of the Las Vegas shooting. I wept as I realized we live in a war zone, something I thought I’d never have to say.

No, it’s not your typical war zone. It’s not visibly in shambles and the military isn’t marching through the streets. But this survivor recounted having to hide in the vault of a casino with many others while a villainous individual let gunfire rain over a music festival.

Today, children fear for their lives when they walk out the door on their way to school, and going to a concert, club or movie is basically risking your life. Merriman-Webster defines a war zone as an area of extreme violence. With the amount of mass shootings, the number of lives lost and the fear for life when you walk out the front door to partake in a normal activity, I think we can call this extreme violence.

ANN ARBOR TURNS OUT IN FORCE TO MAKE A STATEMENT:  https://weloveannarbor.com/2018/03/26/march-for-our-lives-ann-arbor-turns-out-in-force-to-make-strong-statement/

Today, I felt pride, pride to be considered a millennial. It’s a something I’ve shuddered to be defined as in the past. Millennials have a rap for being lazy and self-entitled, as well as having a lack of empathy, persistence and focus. But to everyone who believes this, have you seen the news lately? Do you know who’s making strides and changes to our current, corrupt political climate?

I am millennial and today I marched with other millennials and guess what, we are courageous, strong, educated, willing to fight for change and ready to speak out for peace. Millennials are the ones who will “make America great again.”

Today, I need all of the right-winged, gun-loving people to hear this. I marched with hundreds protesting gun violence, as both a reporter and an activist. I asked each person I interviewed what they would like to see change with gun laws- a ban all together or gun control? Every single person said CONTROL. They said that banning guns all together isn’t the answer, that people have the right to own a hunting rifle or protect their families with a pistol, but that no one should own military-grade, semi-automatic weapons. They (we) just want commonsense gun laws that make it harder to obtain weapons so we know guns are in the hands of responsible owners who won’t take innocent lives.

So to every NRA-supporting, bought-out Republican politician-loving gun owner, no one wants to infringe on your second amendment right. No one wants to take your gun away (unless you can’t handle it). What we want is to make sure America is no longer a place where mass shootings are the norm and the loss of young, innocent lives is part of daily newscasts.

We just want our freedom. Our freedom to feel safe in school, on the street, at a concert or out with friends. Is your gun more important than any life?

Today, I marched. And it was an honor.

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