The solution to gun violence in America should be a simple choice, according to high school students. They have eloquently simplified the public debate about guns into just two choices. Students are demanding that the public choose between a society with unlimited guns with few restrictions or a society dedicated to saving the lives of innocent children. It’s obvious we can’t have both. Gun violence is epidemic and it is our high school students calling BS on politicians for failing to choose the lives of children over the spread of guns.
Emma Gonzalez, one of the Parkland, Florida student survivors pinpointed the choice in this gun debate.
“When adults tell me I have the right to own a gun, all I can hear is my right to own a gun outweighs your student’s right to live,” said Gonzalez.
The multiple school gun massacres culminating in the Parkland, Florida attack have students saying enough is enough. They are saying they don’t want to hide in closets, practice active shooter drills or spend school time living in fear of the next gun attack. These students are demanding their right to attend school without a constant fear of gun violence. They called their national day of action a “March for our Lives.” That sums up their goal, to save lives.
Republicans offer lame excuses like former Senator Rick Santorum. Santorum suggested that instead of protesting gun violence, students should learn how to offer medical care for use in the next shooting.
“How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that,” Santorum said on CNN in March.
Students are telling the public and politicians that their lives are more important than showering gun owners with unlimited privileges. Adults have failed to effectively present the gun debate in such simple terms. Politicians have caved to gun owners’ increasing demands and accepted an outrageous inflation of Second Amendment principles. Politicians have failed to explain to the public that there will be a price to pay for allowing the NRA to rule. Many politicians have accepted a bargain with the devil rather than set a limit on guns.
The inevitable price for accepting a runaway gun culture is more violent gun deaths. Today’s students get it. They have seen the ready availability of guns specifically designed to be human killing machines. They have seen their fellow students facing killers armed with these efficient tools of mass murder. Many of the Parkland students experienced the horrendous pain and they rightly call out politicians that are willing to bend to the NRA and the gun zealots.
Students are saying the primary reason to enact gun safety measures is to save children’s lives. The choice should be easy. Saving the lives of children must be the priority rather than satisfying the demands of the NRA and the gun manufacturers. The American public must decide whether the Second Amendment grants gun owners a unique indisputable privilege to their guns.
The students correctly believe that the epidemic spread of guns and the accompanying murdering of students requires that society choose children’s lives over guns.
by Rick Smith