Everyone has a stake in the gun debate


Courtesy of Creative Commons

Editorial Board

The action high school students—particularly those most affected by the gun violence—have undertaken brought a glimmer of hope in recent coverage of the Parkland shooting. Students, including Emma Gonzalez, have spoken passionately about gun reform, and their actions have appeared on various news feeds and television. Those students found their stake in the gun debate and are acting upon it. Many say it is up to their generation to bring change for a better good, but they are wrong. Everyone owes a responsibility to addressing the mass shooting of school children, including millennials. Instead of shying away from addressing gun violence, we and our predecessors need to find our stake in the debate in the same manner students in Florida have.

Millennials are also bestowed the responsibility to clean up past generations’ messes. We hear baby boomers say it’s up to us to repair their wrongs, such as the destruction of the environment, which raises the question: when will the buck stop being passed down the line?

The buck will continue to be passed until each generation buckles down, finds their stake in the debate and acts for that interest. Most millennials may not need to worry about being shot in high school halls and therefore may not echo Gonzalez’s sentiments, but data proves millennials are invested in many other issues which are directly related to gun violence and reform.

For example, millennials are more anti-capitalist than their predecessors who experienced the Cold War. A 2016 Harvard University poll showed only 42 percent of millennials support capitalism and 33 percent want socialism. A 2015 Gallup poll found that 70 percent of them would consider voting for a socialist presidential candidate, as indeed many did in 2016.

The anti-capitalist sentiments of millennials are related to gun reform, because the lack of gun reform revolves around money driven by an irresponsibly regulated armament market. Other examples can be produced and the only matter is understanding a generation’s motivations.

Everyone owes a responsibility to addressing gun violence and everyone has a stake in the debate. If we seek out the why we need change instead of passing it down the line, perhaps it’ll begin to happen.