By Valeria Vazquez
After the events on February 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the student survivors took it upon themselves to lead a sweeping movement regarding gun control. This includes traveling to their state capital, our nation’s capital, and leading a world wide march in late March to fight for stricter gun regulations.
Their efforts are receiving nationwide attention and are garnering support from celebrities, politicians, and even your neighbor.
The power of teenagers is currently shocking the American public, and I am tired of the tone of surprise.
As a seventeen year old enrolled in a middle college high school where I plan to receive my high school diploma and three Associate Degrees at the same time, I am fed up with the surprise from adults regarding these teenagers’ efforts.
When I hear “these kids are wise beyond their years” from my educators and family members I cannot help but become annoyed by how surprised they are. How could they forget the power of teenagers and young adults?
It was college students who performed sit ins during the Civil Rights Movement and it was college students again who protested the U.S.’s involvement in the Vietnam War on a large scale.
But yet when adults see teenagers articulately responding to an NRA spokeswoman on national television or delivering a moving speech calling for action, they are shocked.
Well guess what?
All of your efforts for better K-12 education actually paid off (in higher income communities) and we were properly educated!
Oh and that social media you hate so much actually taught us about current events and shed a light on what’s really going on in America when you were too scared to tell us yourself.
So when you say that we are “wise beyond our years” we actually are not, we are wiser than you were when you were our age.
So parents, I ask kindly, step aside. Let us, the “Me, Me, Me” generation take the wheel. Because we know what we are talking about when it comes to politics.
We know our lawmakers are working for us and we therefore can demand action from them.
We know the generations before us have failed us and that we need new people representing us in the government.
We do not need your tone of surprise, we need your support.
We need you to march with us and be by our sides when we demand change. And you cannot do this while watching us in shock and awe.
Would you be surprised if a politician started this movement? No, because it’s what you expect of them.
Well, start to expect revolutions from us. Because another thing about social media is that we are forced to grow up faster than expected.
When you are exposed to so much tragedy and honesty, you mature quicker and are forced to face reality.
The reality that an eighteen year old can legally purchase a firearm and murder your fellow peers in some states, and that is not something I am just going to accept.
So you can either watch my trail burn behind me in shock, or you can be wise beyond your own years and support me along the way.