Students are sick of dying in the place where they’re supposed to be getting an education. I don’t blame them. If I had to worry about someone coming in and shooting up my school in addition to all the other dozens of worries I carried around me in high school or college, I’m not sure I would’ve made it.
Young adults, ages 18 to 29 years old, have enormous political influence, yet most don’t even vote. They could change an election if they could become organized enough to vote more regularly in their local, state, and national elections. Here’s hoping that #enough helps turn the tide to make them realize the power they wield.
Today, March 14, 2018, millions of students across the United States will let their feet do the talking as they walk out of class at 10:00 am local time. For 17 minutes, they will protest the sickening lack of action any of our traditional politicians have undertaken to stem the tide of violence from infiltrating our schools.
Since the last school shooting at Parkland, Florida, resulting in the death of 17 and serious injury of another 17 students, the government has sat on its hands, offering lukewarm proposals — some of which they quickly walked back after the National Rifle Association (NRA) demonstrated its lobbying power and direct financial influence over so many of the spineless puppet politicians that make up the federal government.
The government can’t even agree that there’s little legitimate reason for a civilian to own a bump stock, a device that turns a semi-automatic weapon into something more akin to an automatic machine gun (which, to all our gun advocate readers, is actually banned — showing that you can certainly reasonably ban certain weapons without fear of the government taking away all guns).
Young Adults Have the Power — If Only…
Young adults wield enormous political power — if only they used it. Instead, in the last election, only 46 percent of eligible voters ages 18 to 29 years old bothered to vote. Compare that to those ages 45 to 64 — 67 percent — or 65 and older — 71 percent. You’re beginning to see the problem, right?
Young voters often feel disenfranchised. They feel like government doesn’t really have much to offer them (except letting them sign off on crippling student loan debt). In a world where I can be just as easily connected to my friends in the UK as I can those in my local community, it’s hard to convince (remind?) people how important government is for a functioning, democratic, and free society.
It’s not until later in life where people realize the enormous influence government has in their lives, as we navigate social programs necessary to deal with end-of-life issues, grapple with unemployment, or find ourselves in a health crisis requiring the use of services and programs we never before knew existed.
That’s too bad, because government should, of course, serve all of its citizens equally. Instead, we increasingly cater to the needs of older citizens primarily because they are the group that consistently comes out to vote. Not because they’re more deserving or have greater needs than younger citizens.
#Enough should remind us all that young adults do have influence. Even teens who can’t vote could begin having frank, honest discussions with the adults in their lives — parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, etc. — about their views on issues of importance to them. Discussion of gun control is one such topic area.
And we need to have these discussions. Because without them, change will never happen.
Please stand with Psych Central and support your teen and young adult in the #Enough movement. You can do this by simply saying, “I support your right to walk out of class today. It’s important our society has a frank and open discussion about the problem of mass shootings in school and elsewhere.”