Like Parkland teenagers, fight for gun control

Following the shooting in Parkland, Florida the children who survived have been publicly challenging their representatives, and everyone, to push for stronger gun regulations, so a school shooting never happens again.

These kids, the most well known of the several students leading the charge being Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, have made headway, already having a debate on CNN with people like a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association and Senator Marco Rubio.

Dick’s Sporting Goods just announced that they will no longer be assault style rifles out of their Field and Streams stores, will not sell a gun to anyone and will not sell bump stocks, citing that they sold a gun, different than the one actually used, to the shooter in Parkland.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas has also just reopened and students are back at school, two weeks after the shooting.

There has already been steps taken toward stricter gun regulations, which I believe will have an impact on stopping mass shootings as evidenced by Australia and Japan, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

This a major issue in the U.S. and it won’t be fixed overnight, and the teenagers from Parkland can’t be the only ones working either.

I have seen many people online saying they are so proud of “those Gen Z kids” but with an implication that because they stepped up to the plate, it is now solely their job to ensure gun reform happens in the U.S.

But, many teenagers who feel they are fighting for their lives by advocating for gun control (the march held in Washington last week was called “The March for Our Lives”) still can’t vote. There will be no gun reform if no one votes for it, or if no one votes for people willing to put it in place.

The Stoneman Douglas activists are also calling for all politicians, unrelated to politics, to stop accepting money from the NRA. It’s imperative that we do not vote for those who continue to accept money from the NRA. Regardless of what Marco Rubio says, the money politicians accept does have an impact on the way they vote for laws.

According to the Dickey Amendment (1996), “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

This means that the U.S. cannot treat gun violence as a public health problem because even if the CDC finds that gun regulations would help lower rates of shooting deaths, that would be advocating or promoting gun control. The NRA lobbied for this bill.

The NRA advocates that guns protect people, and they do, sometimes, but they are very dangerous and are often used for evil. A good guy with a gun cannot always stop a bad guy with a gun. Most people just shouldn’t have guns.

The NRA does not release how many members they actually have, but they stated they have 5 million members. They are a powerful group. They could advocate for stricter background checks and longer periods of training time before people are allowed to have guns; this does not squash anyone’s Second Amendment rights, but it would create a safer world.

But, they choose to continue arguing that regulations means everyone’s guns will be taken away and our right to own a gun will save lives, even though it has continually shown that it doesn’t.

Stand with these teenagers who are fighting for their lives and stop supporting the NRA.