March For Our Lives underlines the need for protest to create policy change

The last few years have seen a lot of protest going on in response to current events; from the Women’s March to the recent West Virginia teacher’s strike, people are seeing what’s going on around them and are doing their best to make it quite clear that they are not pleased with the what’s happening in our society. This is, I think, the most effective course of action in this bad timeline, as it directly addresses what they take issue with. This is why the March for Our Lives, scheduled for this Saturday, March 24, is such a delightful course of events.

Mind you, the circumstances are deplorable and no one should have to march and protest in order to not be killed in a classroom, but I’m still glad to see this march taking place following the Parkland mass shooting.

For one thing, this march is an essential course of action in addressing an obvious failure of policy. Mass shootings are a totally avoidable tragedy, which can be seen from the distinctive difference in gun-related deaths in America when compared to nations with adequate gun-control laws. You don’t have to be a social expert in order to realize that gun control is effective in inhibiting mass shootings and general gun-related deaths. Literally Google it for two seconds and you’ll find enough sources to back that up.

It’s a failure of policy, and these have to be challenged if we want to bring about change. If we never show discontent on an issue, how can we address this problem? While no one should have to march not to be murdered, people are being murdered and people need to march. It’s an essential aspect of democracy: as American as apple pie or the denial of modern colonialism.

Moreover, there’s something especially wonderful about seeing youth rise up to face the challenges of modern social issues. We’re in a political sphere where so many of us are wildly disillusioned with our political system. Citizen involvement in local or even state politics is abhorrent and even national politics are often looked at with cynical disdain.

I don’t think they’re wrong to feel this way. It’s easy to get disheartened at the endless string of bad news we hear day after day and the widening divide in the nation is largely concerning for a lot of people. Even people who are passionate about human rights are, quite frankly, exhausted. It seems like everyday there’s yet another terrible thing happening in the world. Keeping up with it; keeping up the fight, is just outright exhausting.

So to have a group of children, essentially, rise up and demand justice, reform and change is really inspiring. It’s a model for us all to live by. We’re allowed to be tired, of course, but it’s important that we don’t stop fighting what we know to be wrong and unjust.

As bad as things get, there is always the opportunity for change, but in order for any change to happen, we have to be willing to march, we have to be willing to rally and we have to be willing to stand in the sweltering sun with cleverly worded signs and chant for the change we want to see in the world.