author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
These people are children.
I am 21 years old. I am past my high school prime. I am no longer chipper and 16; I am instead depressed and twenty-something. Sunrise, sunset. What I’m trying to say is that I’m no longer a hip teen – the unfortunate burden of teenage-dom now rests on the shoulders of Generation Z, and boy, oh boy, this burden is a doozy.
I can protest, but it doesn’t mean nearly as much as when a brazen, buzz cut, bisexual, latinx girl does – hell fucking yeah, Emma Gonzalez! This young woman, to the best of my knowledge, is 16 years old, and she is making rich, old, straight, white men piss their pants.
You know the rich and powerful are scared when they start brushing off their dusty conspiracy theories. These theories are the ones with freezer burn, forgotten in JFK’s old bomb cellar, somewhere behind the Area 51 schematics. These kids, evidently traumatized, heartbroken, and furious, have been accused of being CNN-planted actors.
These people are children.
As I am now a semi-functional adult, I guess this sense of pride I feel is something close to maternal – no, not maternal, but like that of a cool older sister. These kids are so absolutely kick ass, and old people have no way to fight back except for money and FOX News. I love it.
The point of my article is this: hell yeah, kids! Fight the fucking power. The NRA is losing sponsors by the second; Ted Cruz has openly compared his party to Homer Simpson, and you have left Trump speechless on live television. This is the revolution we have all been waiting for.
I don’t want to see anyone undermining these kids. I don’t want to hear they are too dramatic, or that they are somehow planted actors or any of that gun-loving BS. Republicans are scared because they finally know they’re wrong.
As a teenager (and not a soulless college student), we all dreamed of being the next Joan of Arc of the Millennial Age. We hoped to conquer inequalities and be a guiding light for those who came charging after us. We missed our mark by just a smidgen, but hey, it’s finally fucking happening.
These kids don’t just stand for Florida, but for Marshall County, for Sandy Hook, for Columbine, and for every other victim of gun violence that has been senselessly murdered by the NRA. The NRA is comprised of bloodthirsty warmongers, and America is willingly sacrificing children to sate them. In 2018!
I want us all to remember that the spark that ignited America’s love for revolution came from the streets of Ferguson, where Michael Brown lost his life to a racist and a handgun.
There is no reason for us to own weapons of war. We claim to combat war at all turns, but we still turn our children into soldiers before they’re 16. There is as much reason to love nukes and grenades as there is to AR-15’s. Kids die because we love war more than them.
Look your child in the face and tell them metal and gunpowder mean more than their lives.
The truth is that both the wealthy and the ignorant love to feel powerful. They love to wield power over minority races, the unprotected, and those noble enough to keep guns away from their lifestyles. As a species, we are above mutilating one another for money and oil. We are more compassionate than tools of mass murder.
Guns should have been regulated since Columbine. There are no excuses.
Many of the kids figure-heading this movement are now verified on Twitter. This is how movements begin, and holy, we are all here to see it. Also: kids, we all so, so proud of you.
I would like to use the rest of this article to name some recent victims of school gun violence:
Parkland: Alyssa Alhadeff (14), Scott Beigel (35), Martin Anguiano (14), Nicholas Dworet (17), Aaron Feis (37), Jaime Guttenberg (14), Chris Hixon (49), Luke Hoyer (15), Cara Loughran (14), Gina Montalto (14), Joaquin Oliver (17), Alaina Petty (14), Meadow Pollack (18), Helena Ramsay (17), Alex Schachter (14), Carmen Schentrup (16), Peter Wang (15).
Marshall County: Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope, both 15.
Sandy Hook: Charlotte Bacon (6), Daniel Barden (7), Rachel D’Avino (29), Olivia Engel (6), Josephine Gay (7), Dylan Hockley (6), Dawn Hochsprung (47), Madeleine Hsu (6), Catherine Hubbard (6), Chase Kowalski (7), Jesse Lewis (6), Ana Marquez-Greene (6), James Mattioli (7), Grace McDonnell (7), Ann Marie Murphy (52), Emilie Parker (6), Jack Pinto (6), Noah Pozner (6), Caroline Previdi (6), Jessica Rekos (6), Avielle Richman (6), Lauren Rousseau (30), Mary Sherlach (56), Victoria Soto (27), Benjamin Wheeler (6), Allison Wyatt (6).
While looking for these names, I found all of their faces. I cried.