The March for Our Lives

Written by Cole Sterr

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“Enough is enough.”

“Hey hey, ho ho, the NRA has got to go.”

“No more guns.”

“This is what democracy looks like.”

“MSD.”

 

These are just a few of the many chants that boomed throughout the St. Paul capitol building’s premises during the March for Our Lives rally that occurred on Saturday, March 24, 2018.

 

As I stood in the midst of the 20,000 person crowd, I found myself tearing up at the magnitude of solidarity, emotions, stories, and empowerment that were all present throughout the day. The passion and fire in the speakers’ voices, the echoing of the chants, the influx of people, and of course, the amount of students that were in attendance showcased what’s at stake for the future of our children, schools, and the rest of the communities in which we live.

 

I learned about how Stephanie Horowitz, a freshmen at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had to teach herself to play dead to avoid being another victim of gun violence, say goodbye to four of her high school friends, and dwell on the fact that her friend won’t return to that empty desk in one of her classes anytime soon. Instead of worrying about those exams she has to study for or about whether or not that girl she has a crush on will like her back, she is now plagued with having to worry about her safety in school and whether politicians and lawmakers will work to build a safer environment for students like herself who now have to deal with the aftermath of witnessing a school shooting.

 

I learned about how University of Minnesota senior Sami Rahamim had to receive the news that his father, Reuven Rahamim, was shot and killed inside his Accent Signage company office after laying off a 13 year employee who opened fire seconds after he lost his job.

 

I learned about how Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka won’t think about passing gun control laws because they “do not have the votes to pass” and would only consider “measures that could pass.”

 

I learned that on average, there has been one school shooting every week this year.

 

I learned that with the lack of progress being made with our current administration, my mother, who supports my family and me by working as a full-time high school custodian, could be at risk for being a victim of another school shooting. Or the students that I mentored and went to school with back at Menomonee Falls High School could very well experience another school shooting. Or the tiny Catholic elementary school that I attended could very well be on the news for, yet again, another school shooting.

 

I learned that the March for Our Lives is more than just advocating for gun control. It’s about protecting the lives of our nation’s children. Our students. Our educators. Our church-goers. Our custodians. Our domestic workers. Our business owners. Our society.

 

Our future.

 

I am humbled to have been able to participate in the March for Our Lives rally. If you weren’t able to attend or are looking for ways to get involved, you can go to swingleft.org or marchforourlives.com to learn more about how you can donate and support policy that will act toward gun reform and making the society in which we live safer for all.