The Minority Report | Ashley Kim

Photo Credit: Bobby Jones

Photo Credit: Bobby Jones

Last week, a 19-year-old terrorist shot rampantly through the halls and classrooms of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He killed 17 people, including students and staff members. He killed daughters and sons with an AR-15 that was purchased legally.

He reminded us that we are not safe—no matter where we go. He ignited a fierce dialogue about gun control in America as the previous one began to die down, as people grew tired of fighting with each other, as people settled back into their lives with the hope that something like this wouldn’t happen again, that they wouldn’t be faced with the pain of losing a loved one to something that could have easily been prevented.

We have a tendency to look at every controversial issue as bipartisan  instead of as common sense legislation. We have become obsessed with and committed to disagreeing with each other—so much so that we spend more of our time attacking the “left” or the “right” instead of creating actual policy that will at least give the illusion that kids will stop dying at school, or that we will stop dying in public spaces.

We have trivialized and minimized human life, comparing it to the possession of guns, as if owning them or not is a deciding factor in whether or not we have the right to live, whether or not we have the right to feel safe when stepping outside our homes.

At the forefront of the gun control debate are students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They are showing us what true activism and commitment to change looks like. They are dedicated to ensuring that they are not known as victims of a mass shooting, but as the catalyst for actual, tangible change so that no one else has to lose their friends and family in another mass shooting. These teenagers are putting us all to shame. They want to feel safe, and they’re doing what adults—who are supposed to keep us safe—have not been able to do.

As a student and former teenager, I am supremely proud and appreciative of their work, and embarrassed by my apathy at that age. But, I’m grateful for them.

Everyone deserves to feel safe, and everyone deserves to live. This is common sense and nothing else. We need gun reform. Now.

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