Young people at the Statewide Youth Media Conference had extremely important discussions and shared their opinions on current events. (Photo by Ivan Caballero)

Since the brutal shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last February, 1,200 young lives have been lost to gun violence across the United States. Young people across the country have spoken out against local and federal lawmakers, criticizing their inaction over the place year. However many students believe the issue is even deeper than how it may first appear.

Daniel Usher of West Campus High School said “I view the government’s near-complete inaction in what has been one of the greatest tragedies of this nation’s history as being completely unacceptable.” Usher’s classmate Alyson Engel added “Our government needs to actually focus on the problems at hand in our country instead of just the ones that have profit in it for them.” Many students believe that the government is not taking sufficient action to keep them safe and they worry about their safety every day when they come to school. During a recent lockdown at West Campus High School, multiple students made comments such as “I always knew something bad would happen here.”

Many students have become so desensitized to this type of violence when gunshots are fired across the street, around the corner, or in the neighborhood surrounding the campus, many are not even surprised by the disruption. Many have come to view gun violence as inevitable, but still, others know that it does not have to be.

While many students are worried about gun violence and how it impacts them and their classmates, many are standing up and speaking out. Last year in response to the Parkland shooting, Kora Spiak urged her classmates at her school’s walkout to “Learn about what you can do. Contact our district, our legislators, anyone, and ask what you can do to help change gun violence and the other issues that directly impact our generation. The idea of “We Shall Overcome” can be seen at the end of this tunnel, but only if we continue to fight and emerge from the shadows instead of dissenting into silence.”