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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

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The “mass shooting generation” aims to end gun violence

March+For+Our+Lives+was+started+by+the+students+of+Stoneman+Douglas+High+School+after+the+Parkland%2C+Florida+shooting+and+will+take+place+across+the+nation+on+March+24.
Photo by Creative Commons

March For Our Lives was started by the students of Stoneman Douglas High School after the Parkland, Florida shooting and will take place across the nation on March 24.

As seen daily on most news sources and social media outlets since the Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Florida, gun violence has become one of the leading nonpartisan issues of the time. In 2018 alone, there have been 17 school gunfire incidents, which include all incidents whether they contribute to injuries, fatalities, or leave victims unharmed, according to Snopes as of February 15, which increased to 18 in the past week.
Across the nation, people will join together in the March For Our Lives to advocate to put an end gun violence. The march at Texas A&M will begin in Rudder Plaza at 5 p.m. where there will be a section for people to create posters and a voter registration section run by outside organizations, including the Brazos Valley Democratic Party and Indivisible Texas B-CS. Speakers will present information about how to support the movement to end gun violence before the march begins, which will travel around a set path on campus and conclude back at Rudder Plaza.
Emma Watson, public health freshman and campus and community outreach coordinator, said there will be marches in the major cities close to A&M, but due to Big Event, organizers wanted to give students the option to participate in both.
“Aggies would have to forfeit Big Event or forfeit the march,” Watson said. “So we created our own here to accommodate the needs of College Station and empower students to participate in both.”
March For Our Lives College Station is not a campus organization. Instead, it is led by a collection of six A&M students who wanted to have a march on campus. They accomplished this goal without sponsorship or hosting from any established organizations.
“We started by seeing that other cities were creating sister marches and so when we didn’t see that Bryan–College Station area [had] one, we just decided to make one ourselves,” said Samira Choudhury, biomedical sciences senior and March For Our Lives College Station event organizer.
Madi Jaco, international studies freshman and social media leader for March For Our Lives College Station, said the goal is supposed to be about ending gun violence more than it is about being anti-gun.
“We think that it is important to show that there are community members that are both young and old that support this movement here in Bryan-College Station,” Jaco said.
To get involved before and during the march, Hailey Motsenbocker, marketing sophomore and March For Our Lives College Station funds manager, said there are a variety of things students can actively do.
“Making posters, posting on your social media, rallying your friends, attending the march, registering to vote, voting itself, getting informed about your candidates and really just being politically active and staying aware of the situation and not let this movement die out after the march is over,” Motsenbocker said. “Really continually push for reform and positive change in the government and the system itself.”
Watson said she believes that sparking conversations will also continue to keep the narrative of ending gun violence alive and will help spread ideas.
“I think that it’s really important to be willing to start conversations too, and to have conversations that you don’t necessarily think are going to be productive because they might be,” Watson said. “I think it’s really easy to assume someone is going to disagree with you and that mindset is not going to be changed and so you just shut down in that conversation, but you are never going to change a mindset if you don’t begin cultivating those conversations and reciprocate with open-mindedness and a willingness to hear the other side.”
Choudhury said creating a conversation around the issue of gun violence is important, especially in the B-CS area.
“One of the big things that we want to do is create a dialogue,” Choudhury said. “I feel like a lot of the times the voices that are in support of this movement are not heard in this area and you hear a lot of the extreme opposite side, and that’s one of the reasons people associate those views with this area. So we want to be able to give people an outlet to express their opinion, express their views.”
Choudhury said the march will hopefully be a place where there is a gathering of like-minded mass of people to show the community and the local and state politicians that there is a desire for reform.
“Hopefully the march will be a place where people realize that there are other people who believe the same thing as them and they get encouraged to create that dialogue and start having those difficult but necessary conversations,” Choudhury said. “If you don’t talk to people who disagree with you, you make no headway.”
For more information about the College Station march, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/450411595378097/. For more information about the national marches, visit marchforourlives.com.

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