If there is one thing that you have in this country at this given time, it is a voice. We are at a point in our history when voices are shared, people are vocal, and opinions are expressed.
It is up to the individual how they choose to use these rights. I think there if there is one thing that we all should use our right to, it is our place to speak out for our generation.
I am a voice that is prepared to wake people up, to make a change. In my General Studies Writing class today, we spent time discussing the frequency of school shootings since 1849. The statistics are astounding.
I am not saying there was no violence, as it is proven that although a change in form, the world is at one of its most peaceful periods.
That being said, it makes me sick to my stomach to know that I have realistic and reasonable fear that my place of education, my school, that I have the incredible privilege to learn in, is at a real risk of being terrorized.
It hurts me to know that these sanctuaries of progress, these homes for those of the future are being targeted. As a college student, I wake up every day expecting to go to my classes, my organization meetings, to catch some lunch with my friends, write an article, and go on my merry way.
I might get stressed about an assignment I have due, but I shouldn’t have to be worried about being shot.
I am just like any of the other students walking to school, unknowingly, for the last time. The 17 students killed in the Parkland Shooting had no ideas that February 14th, 2018 would be the last day they had to live. It overwhelms my heart to ever try to imagine what amounts of heartbreak the families of these individuals must be experiencing.
Put yourself in their shoes. Try to see from their eyes, recognize the emptiness and anger they might feel. This is probably one of the hardest, if not the hardest, thing they have ever been through, and who are we to tell them to feel any different.
Now keep those shoes on and imagine watching a video from the scene of the tragedy, with disturbing images of the lifeless bodies of the innocent victims, their very family members, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers.
Now, Brothers and sisters, this is where we go wrong. Why is it that our generation would even begin to think that recording that would be a good idea?
I know that you would never think in a million years that something like this would or could ever happen to you, but that is the reality of it, it can. It is horrible, but it can.
I can tell you with certainty that the 17 students from Parkland didn’t think it would happen to their school. You have to consider what it would be like to be involved in a crisis situate of this nature.
Though this is the extreme of the situation, you would never want the parents of the deceased child to find out that their son or daughter was no longer with them, due to a video someone posted on the internet. If you consider yourself a decent human, no, a human of any nature, you recognize the horror in this.
My goal in this is to call out my generation and those around me to wake up. Take your nose out of your phone, and open your eyes.
There are people just like you, dying.
It could be you, it could be your best friend.
You need to use your voice to change the world. Talk to people, listen to people. Empathize. Work to understand them. Use your voice for good. Engage and make friends. Use your voice for protest, not for hate. Not for harm.
I am not by any means saying that this is going to stop school shootings. If only that was the case. What I am saying is that we need to wake up and take action to stand up for our friends.