We hold the power

To our fellow students — this is a call to action.

Stand up, get up, fight for your lives.

Let them know — the adults, the powerful, the legislators — that you’re not willing to be a sitting duck for them anymore.

Use your voice.

Together we can be powerful.

Take to the streets.

Learn from what came before — from the Civil Rights movement and the protests against the Vietnam War.

Combine the success of history with what we have now.

Take to social media.

Call out those who turn a deaf ear.

Call them what they are.

Cowards.

Lackeys for the NRA.

Accomplices in the murder of our country’s children.

Accomplices in the murder of us. 

For what feels like the first time in America’s now notorious history with mass shootings and school shootings, thoughts and prayers appear to be taking the backseat to real action.

And it’s coming at the hands of students who have just born first hand witness to the murder of 17 of their classmates and teachers — students whose goals just over a week ago included joining the college experience, much like the one Orange Coast College seeks to facilitate.

A shocking statistic in the Washington Post brings it to reality. Since Columbine, more than 150,000 children have experienced a school shooting. When will that include an Orange County incident?

It’s time we, as college students, follow in the footsteps of our younger counterparts and the true, great American tradition of students enacting real change. It’s time we put our foot down, to demand an end to the gun violence that has endlessly gripped the nation.

At a time where 18-year high school senior Emma Gonzalez’s voice at a student-organized rally is booming louder than any legislator or politician, it’s time we follow suit.

“We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America. … We are going to be the last mass shooting,” Gonzalez said Saturday as she addressed the crowd and millions more watching on TV.

The rally was organized by Never Again MSD, an organization formed by the survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting who have utilized the boundless power of social media to start a movement, one they are determined to maintain control of.

We are on the cusp of a shift in power and it is imperative that we stand with our fellow students on the right side of history. How many more children’s lives must be brutally taken before we put a stop to this never-ending vicious cycle of death and violence?

Enough is enough. It ends today and it ends with us.

These students have been vocal in their condemnation of everyone from local legislators to the president himself. They began using their platform to plead with lawmakers and have upped the ante demanding it, taking the fight into their own hands in a show of bravery and courage this country has not seen in a very long time.

To deny the inspiring power that these students wield by speaking out is to deny the power we hold in our own hands.

March 24 marks the March for Our Lives, a student-organized nationwide march to enact real gun legislation in partnership with the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety that will undoubtedly go down in history.

While the main march is planned to take place along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., other protests will take place across the country, like our very own Los Angeles.

The organizers behind the Women’s March are planning a 17-minute school walkout March 14 to honor the 17 lives lost at the hands of gun violence.

Part of what truly does make America great is the longstanding tradition of protest. It’s written in the Constitution.

Join a group. Form your own. Attend a rally. Organize your own. The time is now and we must not sit idly by as we wait for the gunfire to come raining down upon us to elicit a response.

(2) comments

jriestra

Orange County is hosting a March for Our Lives on March 24. I am helping lead it so if I can receive help spreading the news, I will be more then grateful.

sarateal

Hi Jessica--

I'd love to get in contact in regards to the march you're helping lead

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.