The March for Our Lives and for our rights


By Aja Schiller

Marchers outside of the Capital taking a stand for their rights and lives.

The matter of raising the regulations for gun control in the United States is a controversial topic. Some people will do anything to protect their rights to the second amendment, while others are saying that we should be taking a stand in making our society better. When I heard about how much people advocate for their gun rights and how they use the second amendment to support their opinions, I asked myself: Why are people following words that were written in the 1700s by men who had only ever held a musket? When lives are being lost because guns are so readily available, where do we draw the line between sticking to our beliefs and saving the people who are killed due to gun violence?

On March 24, there was the “March for Our Lives” on Washington. People participated all across the nation, and it was organized by students who are not okay with having their friends, family, and peers being killed due to gun violence. For more information on the marches and walkouts, see a previous article, “students take a stand against shootings.” 

Although numerous people have died in gun violence and there has been no government action,  Senator John Kennedy, from Louisiana, took immediate action when a dog in a United Airlines flight suffocated and died after being put in an overhead compartment.

“For many people, pets are members of the family,” Kennedy wrote in a letter sent to the president of United Airlines. “They should not be treated like insignificant cargo. Frankly, they shouldn’t be placed in the cargo hold much less an overhead bin.”

Sen. Kennedy quickly responded to the death of the dog, yet Congress hasn’t done anything for gun regulations, despite 7,000 children and teenagers dying in school shootings between the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting and now.

The March for Our Lives wasn’t just campaigning for gun control and regulations, which is the most well know reason. It’s also to raise awareness for more mental health support in our nation.

I went to the March for Our Lives and the energy there was electric. Thousands and thousands of teenagers and adults were there, fighting for what is ours by nature- our lives. In the age that we live in today, on one side, mental health is still something that people keep to themselves. Some people are often ashamed of how they feel because they think that there’s something wrong with them. But on the other, side people are more open than ever. Generation Z has somehow raised the most diverse generation who understands the problems that threaten our society. There will always be people who have other beliefs, but my generation generally supports each other no matter race, sex, gender, sexual orientation or anything else that may have been oppressed in the past. Generation Z is bringing change, and gun control and mental health support is at the top of the list.

Guns and recreational (target) shooting is great. People shoot for sport and also hunt. Guns are a regular things and that’s great in some cases. Parents can teach their kids how to responsibly handle a gun and what not to do with the firearm. But the abundance of guns and lack of mental health support is the main reason why there are school shootings and mass shootings. Therapy is often not covered by insurance and can cost $75-$300 per session. An average therapy session is typically about an hour long.

Henry Schiller, my uncle, works at the Mayo Clinic and is also retired from the US Army. He’s been shooting guns since 2000 when he was 38. He has three sons and he takes them to the shooting range. His beliefs on gun rights are quite opposite to mine, and when I went to visit him over spring break, he told me all about how he conducts himself and his sons at the shooting range.

“If anyone gets upset at the [shooting] range, then we are done and head home. If anyone fails to follow my directions, we head home,” Schiller stated in an email, “If I see anybody who is acting unsafely at the range, which is uncommon, but it happens, then we head home.”

The March for our Lives brought the nation together on March 24 but also divided us a bit more. People are ready to advocate for their gun control or rights to the second amendment and they aren’t afraid to show it. It should have only taken one death due to gun violence for Congress to pass gun laws, but with more than 40 mass shootings in 2018, there have still been no government actions made.