By Sarah Mensch
Yesterday, I marched for 2.5 miles with an estimated 50,000 people in Boston. As a student, I stood toward the front, and when I looked around I could see so many of the children I wrote about protecting late last week walking next to me. They looked tired; this was their Saturday morning, intended for soccer practice or Girl Scouts or watching cartoons, and they were spending it pleading for legislators to make school a safer place
The March for Our Lives did not maintain the level of pride or excitement I’ve felt at other rallies I’ve attended; at the Boston Women’s March in 2017 I felt solidarity in my womanhood, and at the Deaf Grassroots Movement rally I felt admiration for my Deaf professors and classmates. But at the March for Our Lives, I felt anger, grief, and most importantly, determination.
The walk-outs at high schools all over the nation and demands from students in Florida specifically have already resulted in Governor Rick Scott (R) signing a new gun bill into law that raises the minimum age to purchase a gun, ends same-day gun licensing, and bans bump stocks.
I and the hundreds of thousands of others who marched yesterday have a new obligation today, one that is much more uncomfortable than our duty to be good adults and protect our children: we have to hold on to our anger and our grief. We have to maintain its magnitude and it’s momentum, because without any emotional charge, change in the way states handle guns doesn’t start with the Florida gun bill, it stops there. And until no child or adult dies at the hands of gun violence, we have not done enough.
Given that I’ve just given anyone who reads this a hefty call-to-action, I want to make it clear what organizations Engaging Peace readers can support to make gun safety in the United States a reality: