March for Our Lives, San Diego, April 2018.
As a young person from the UK, I never went to school in fear of mass shootings or experienced this kind of terror in my daily life It’s easy from afar to be heartbroken about the loss of young lives when we hear about yet another US shooting, to be amazed that such outdated gun control laws are still in effect, to be horrified that anyone can get their hands on military weapons without comprehensive background checks (and from ages far less than you need to be to drive a vehicle or drink alcohol), and to be astonished that more hasn’t been done to finally put an end to this… but to actually be here in the midst of thousands of people who’s lives this literally affects every day, I shared the anger and devastation that this has caused, and was privileged to be a part of this powerful global demonstration.
I heard such brave young children and teens speak out to the crowds for their right to an education free of the threat of open gun fire, about how their lives are more valuable than the right to bear firearms, about how it is time for this crazy law and culture to change, for school children, teachers and all citizens. It was also important that they brought close attention to the fact that these terrible crimes are called ‘shootings’ when white people are to blame, but ‘terrorism’ when a person of colour, and how so much still needs to change around how language is used when it comes to the intersection of violence and racism. Beyond the placards and in the eyes of all who listened, cheered, chanted and marched, I saw passion, determination, hope and solidarity. This generation inspires me, as they demand for change now.