I have never been inspired more than when I was a March for Our Lives in D.C. shouting with 850,000 other people that “Enough is enough” and we need to “Vote them out!” (A reference to the politicians taking money from the NRA.) About a month prior, I had received a text from a friend notifying me of a rally on the steps of the Statehouse and asking if I wanted to participate. The next day, five of my friends and I traveled to Montpelier to encourage our legislature to pass bills S.6, H.422, and S.221. Since then I helped gain approximately 200 signatures for petitions for these bills at my school, I helped organize a walkout at my school, and I helped organize the very successful and extremely inspiring trip to Washington, D.C. with the Peace & Justice Center.

This movement has gained support because of the inspiring, eloquent, and courageous students from Parkland, Florida. And it has gained momentum amongst young people because of the students’ unique connection to gun violence in schools.

But it is imperative that as activists, as students, and as people we realize that gun violence is not unique to schools. It is a reality that plague the black and brown communities around our country. It is an issue that has been silenced for too long. It is time that we hear all of “the stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news,” (Naomi Wadler). It is time that we fight for everyone’s life and if it is the kids that have to do it than it is the kids that will do it.

 

– Willoughby Carlo, Mount Mansfield High School student