Heard Round WexWorld: March for our Lives
Emily Munster, Zach Shapiro, Lily Goldberg and Hannah Blumenfeld
This past Saturday, I participated in March for Our Lives. I didn’t initially plan on going because I was nervous about what some of my family members would think and I was worried that an event like this could attract a shooter. However, I changed my mind a few days before while watching March Madness at the house of a family friend. I was talking about how great it is that so many teens are getting involved in politics and showing that we can make a change. My friend’s cousin responded pessimistically that every generation seems to think they can make a change but always gives up in the end because nothing can ever change. I was pretty mad about this and decided I needed to do more to get involved. I also realized that nothing was going to change if I was too scared of what others thought or let my paranoia get in the way of my activism.
I didn’t initially know what to expect at the march, but it exceeded whatever my expectations may have been. The crowd was extremely diverse and there was a great group of speakers and performers of all ages, races, religions and gender. It was incredibly uplifting to see the Columbus community unite and play an active role in the government.
We marched from the National Veterans Memorial to the Ohio statehouse chanting things like, “This is what democracy looks like!”
Senator Sherrod Brown and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty marched with us as well, and when we arrived at the statehouse, they spoke about the actions they would take to pass gun control laws and regulations. There were so many young people, and it gave me so much hope for this generation. I think we can prove my friend’s cousin wrong. I think this generation can indeed make a change.
Emily Munster, Senior at Columbus Academy
On Saturday, I was one of many who attended the March for our Lives in Columbus. As a young person, this event spoke to me because of how driven by young activists it was. One of my favorite quotes from the program before the march was, “the children are not the future… they are the present.”
For all of the high school students participating in the march, it was invaluable to get to see the ways that even citizens who are too young to vote are able to shape our national conversations and help set the agenda.
Zach Shapiro, Senior at Bexley High School
I heard one of the Parkland survivors say on 60 Minutes that “We are the generation of mass shootings.” After I heard that statement, I realized that all my life I have grown up hearing about mass shootings, and have almost become numb to them. After almost every shooting, things go back to normal, and soon enough everyone forgets, until the next one happens. It is an endless loop of misery and injustice.
This time, however, it was different. The Parkland shooting is where teenagers will be remembered by saying “enough is enough.” Shootings need to be prevented, and lives need to be protected; this is why I decided to march.
I will never forget the March for Our Lives event that took place last weekend (March 24, 2018). I am left in awe every time I remember that teenagers organized one of the most powerful experiences I have ever witnessed. The speakers, the musicians and my fellow marchers were all there to soak up emotions and exhibit our power as a community of people who are going to do something — even if the government is unable to.
As a newly registered voter, I am ready to be educated on these issues, and I am ready to make the right decisions to protect citizens’ lives in schools and in public places. This march and these Parkland survivors have not only opened my eyes to what is most important, they have opened my eyes on what to do and how stand up for what I believe in.
Lily Goldberg, Senior at Upper Arlington High School
This past weekend, I participated in the March for Our Lives in Columbus, Ohio. As I listened to the wide variety speakers, I was reminded that gun violence stretched far beyond school shootings and affects many people each day. As a new voter, hearing the tragedies that gun violence can cause made me understand the importance and power of my vote to contribute to making communities in the United States safer. I believe this movement is vital for the future of our country, and the fact that it is motivating young people to get involved gives me hope that legislation will soon be introduced to create change.
Hannah Blumenfeld, Freshman at The Ohio State University, WSC 15, SLC 16