As an educator and gun violence activist, I sincerely appreciate and am heartened by youth and teachers rallying for their right to live and thrive in a country that promises so much, but has done very little to safeguard our communal spaces and our families. Instead, we've opted for gun laws that require little to no accountability for persons to their communities. We've let politicians who are responsible for this legislation convince us time and again that they are advocating for our well-being, while they ignore the pleas of an overwhelming majority of citizens who are living in fear of their lives because of rampant gun violence that strikes anyone anywhere at anytime.
In the face of yet another tragedy, the one thing I take heart in is that more young people are mobilizing to pressure adults to take their protection against guns ser
iously. The young have always led the defining movements of our world, and so I am deeply proud of this new generation who has found its voice and its power to move mountains -- because that is what the issue of gun violence has become in America -- an intractable and looming obstacle.
We need to listen to our youth. We need to listen to our teachers. And we most certainly need to listen to mothers who demand action for too many children lost to a war of words and weapons that has forgotten what is at stake. Our life's blood. Our youth.
Daria V., a senior at Steinmetz College Prep in Chicago and a NYAM Emerging Artist and Thought Leader, created the artwork attached to this article.