By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – The American youth stepping up against gun violence and calling for stricter gun measures have the blessings of the older generation, particularly Filipino parents. They are giving a thumbs up to the young ones joining the nationwide #marchforourlives asking Congress to pass gun control “to make the children safe.”
Fleur Luntao Harris, editor for a legal magazine in Washington DC says: “I’m so proud of the youth standing up against gun violence and demanding change now. This generation was born for this movement. They are impatient for results, relentless, and they know how to use the power of social media to get their voices heard. And come 2018 midterm elections, they will hold politicians accountable.”
About 500,000 people, led by students of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida marched in Washington DC to call for gun policy reforms. They were able to raise $3.4 million in crowd funding from supporters including Oprah Winfrey and George and Amal Clooney. Seventeen students from Parkland High School were killed by a former student using an AR 15 assault rifle.
The mass shooting in Parkland was not an isolated incident in the US. Rampage killings, using high powered assault weapons, have alarmingly happened in schools and public places across the country, particularly in Florida, Texas, California, and Nevada.
The Stoneman Douglas students took the lead in calling for stricter gun control and took to the streets saying “Never again.” Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston have likewise launched the #marchforourlives rallies.
Jane Hernando Catacutan, physical therapist from Florida has this to say: “I personally think that millennials taking a stand on important issues like gun control is good. Unfortunately, their generation is most affected by the recent shootings and they are not satisfied with the current measures implemented in order to get an access to guns. It’s almost as if everyday there is a shooting somewhere in a school in America. I would rather have a generation stand up for something rather than a passive generation.”
New Jersey-based Emil Rapada, father of 5 children and president of Filipino International Community in America says: “I believe in responsible run ownership and strict restrictions to access of automatic rifles. Although I understand the idea of the 2nd amendment enshrined in the Bill of Rights. I don’t believe owning a gun can solve the problem on gun violence. I believe that educating people and emphasizing about unselfish love and respect for others in our thoughts, words and deeds can diminish such violence.”
Manhattan lawyer Lara Gregory expressed optimism that with the multitude of marchers, policies on gun control could change. “There are a few moments in history where there is multi-generational presence like #March for our lives. It is when collective action is clearly demonstrated that the legislative process follows the popular will instead of the powerful will. March for our lives is changing the tide for legislation on gun control.”
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