As of Wednesday February 14th, the Columbine massacre in 1999 was no longer USA’s deadliest high school shooting. Fourteen students and three teachers were killed at a shooting at Majory Stonemann Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Though this has been the deadliest, this hasn’t been the only school shooting in America this year, as there have been at least 7 school shootings prior to this.

 

Needless to say, there has been significant frustration in changing the gun policies, which make it possible for these mass shootings to occur. A common argument against gun reform is the Second Amendment, stating, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Gun laws are so lax that the current age requirement for being able to purchase assault rifles (such as the one used in this shooting) is only 18!

 

 

What is different this time, is that the youth are refusing to just accept “thoughts and prayers” as the solution this time. Many are standing up and taking to social media to demand reform and tightening of gun regulations. One such example is the March for our Lives Campaign in Washington DC, on March 24th. Several others have began organizing the #Enough school walkouts to demand better action to ensure the safety of the students, such as the one planning to take place on March 14th, hosted by the same group who organized the Woman’s March last year.

 

 

 

 

It’s hard not to wonder though, will this actually have any long lasting effect, or will this just be another media sensation for a couple of days, and then will things return to the status quo until the next shooting? Interestingly, some think that because it is the youth that are taking charge, there is a chance of things actually changing. A key factor on our side is time. A high school student has significantly more time than a full time worker. The youth have the time to raise awareness and engage the public in this issue long enough to change the laws. It reminds you of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH)’s saying, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.”

Not only that, but we have the passion to commit to a cause and try our best to advocate it, because if we don’t, we have to deal with the consequences into our adulthood.

 

It’s easy to think that because you’re young, that no one will take you seriously, especially when taking on an opponent as strong as the NRA. But as Margaret Mead so aptly put it, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

 

For more information on how to get involved, visit: https://www.marchforourlives.com/