They say guns don’t kill, people do. Angry, violent, hurting people are those who takes lives— lives of innocent children, movie goers and Christmas shoppers. Yes, a person did that, but he did it with a gun. Guns have one purpose: to kill things. Whether for sport of for slaughter, guns kill— animals, soldiers, citizens and now children.
Our country has a long-standing history of freedom; we worship as we choose, speak as we like and yes, we have the right to bear arms. “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School was not the result of the militia marching through town or a man defending the security of a free state. It was outright murder. The anger and pain of a young man turned into mass murder. Yes, a man did this – but he did it with a gun.
It’s time to pull together and say no more. We must stop making excuses, hiding behind fancy rhetoric and tired politics while the lives of innocent Americans, innocent children are lost forever. You have a right to bear arms, but didn’t those children have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Life above all else is what our founding fathers intended for us—a life better and bigger than we could begin to imagine. They were planting the seeds of the American Dream before they knew what those two words would come to mean to millions of people— immigrants, soldiers, parents, children, generations of Americans in pursuit of a fuller, happier life. But today is no dream. Today is nothing short of a nightmare.
So, what do we do? What do we, the young women and men of America, do to stop mass murder in its tracks? How can we ensure this never happens again? It’s simple enough: we use our voices and we don’t back down.
This means more than posting Facebook statuses, tweeting prayers and instagramming pictures of Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes. We have been criticized by the mass media for being a generation of “slacktivists”, unable to create change through our unwillingness to actually do something. We must act. Write your congressmen and congresswomen, your senators and your president. Tell them you are tired of violence, politics and inaction. Speak and they’ll listen—we can no longer be ignored.
“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.” -Nelson Mandela
The time for action is now. It’s time to give our children what they most deserve— life free of violence and fear— life, to the fullest.
Featured image via Karsten Moran for the New York Times