Student leaders protest gun proliferation
August 11, across the street from the Trump Tower, a small group of high school students asked passersby to write the names of people who'd been affected by gun violence in chalk along the sidewalk.
"We want everyone to actually see who has been affected by gun violence," one student said. "Seeing and hearing their name makes it more real."
A month to the day of their protest, the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive noted that gun violence accounted for more than 30,000 deaths and injuries in the calendar year. Almost 2,000 of this number were youth 12-17 years old.
The protest was put on by Stand to Save Chicago, a youth-led organization that is demanding an end to gun violence and a beginning to better gun control. In its "Why We Fight" message, the high school student activists say, "Lives have priority over money. No exceptions. Lives take priority over "necessary" weapons of mass destruction. No exceptions. Lives take priority over the "inconvenience" of mandatory background checks to obtain guns. No exceptions. People are more important than guns. No exceptions."
"Stand to Save is a movement for students, by students. We are fighting for the right to safety in our schools, homes, and communities. We are young, but we have the power to change our world."
"For far too long, gun violence has riddled our lives with bullets of sorrow and fear," student leaders Amanda Flowers said at the August 11 march. "We're not taking this mistreatment of our well-being any longer."
If you are an employer, you can hire young people at risk. If you are a community leader, you can help improve police-community relations. If you are a health care provider, you can support trauma-informed care to gun violence victims. If you are a funder, you can support any one of these efforts. Whatever you do, your voice matters when you speak up in support of policies that can make our neighborhoods safer. Reach out to learn more.