March for Our Lives – Latin School Chapter
Although school shootings didn’t start with Columbine in 1999, its media attention initiated a conversation about gun violence. Unfortunately, gun violence didn’t stop then. Since Columbine, 187,000 students nationwide have experienced a school shooting (this includes all students in the building during a shooting). School shootings have been shown to have serious effects on the survivors’ mental health. Many experience traumatic stress symptoms. These shootings also change the learning environment, damaging the sense of safety offered by a school. The aftermath of school shootings impacts the entire community. As of November 16th of this year, 2,443 people have been shot and 460 people have died as a result of gun violence in Chicago. Most of these shootings take place on Chicago’s South and West sides and the majority of victims who have died are black men between the ages of 20-40. It should be noted that there were 207 fewer Chicago shootings in 2019 than in 2018, however, one shooting is one too many. It is critical that we directly address the underlying causes behind gun violence and find ways that we can all address this growing national issue.
The national organization March for our Lives’ (MFOL) mission statement is “to harness the power of young people across the country to fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives.” As a chapter of MFOL, our mission statement is to facilitate conversations about guns and safety; to endeavor to raise awareness about gun violence in Chicago; to educate about nonviolent movements and strategies, and to inform students of the contents and consequences of numerous gun-control policies. We are a non-partisan club focused on gun safety, especially in our schools. If you want to stay updated on our progress and current events relating to us, email us at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
Gun violence is not a partisan issue, but rather a public safety one; people should be able to walk down their street, watch TV in their own homes, go to school, attend a sports game, without feeling that their safety is threatened. For this reason, March For Our Lives-Latin aims to exemplify that, regardless of your political party, you can look for ways to support progressive, issue-based legislation, rather than partisan legislation. In order to do this, MFOL will include details on upcoming elections, both general and local, and a list of the candidates and where they stand solely on the issue of gun control, in periodic newsletters that will be shared with the student body. Our goal is to inform Latin students on ways they can support gun control reform even if they are not of voting age. We also want to ensure that when Latin students do go to the polls, they know where candidates stand on the issue of gun control.
*Editor’s Note: The original version of this article included a statistic claiming that, after Columbine, 187,000 students nationwide have been killed in school due to gun violence. The true statistic is that 187,000 students nationwide have experienced a school shooting since Columbine.