Tomorrow, Saturday, the March for Our Lives is taking place all over the country. As such, The Guardian has invited student journalists from Parkland, Florida’s high school newspaper, The Eagle Eye, to direct our coverage of the March for Our Lives gun violence protest. Throughout the weekend you’ll find exclusive features, interviews and live reports from the ground.
In their first editorial, the students introduce themselves and lay out the changes they would like to see enacted.
As a student publication, the Eagle Eye works to tell the stories of those who do not have a voice. Today, we are the ones who feel our voice must be elevated.
In the wake of the tragedy that occurred at our school on 14 February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, our lives have changed beyond what we ever imagined. We, along with our publication, have been transformed. We will remain so for the rest of our lives.
Ban semi-automatic weapons that fire high-velocity rounds
Civilians shouldn’t have access to the same weapons that soldiers do. That’s a gross misuse of the second amendment.
Ban accessories that simulate automatic weapons
High-capacity magazines played a huge role in the shooting at our school. In only 10 minutes, 17 people were killed, and 17 others were injured. This is unacceptable.
Establish a database of gun sales and universal background checks
We believe that there should be a database recording which guns are sold in the United States, to whom, and of what caliber and capacity they are.
Change privacy laws to allow mental healthcare providers to communicate with law enforcement
As seen in the tragedy at our school, poor communication between mental healthcare providers and law enforcement may have contributed to a disturbed person with murderous tendencies and intentions entering a school and gunning down 17 people in cold blood.
Close gun show and secondhand sales loopholes
Thanks to loopholes, people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to buy firearms are able to purchase them at gun shows and secondhand sales. The existence of these loopholes reflects the ineptitude of state and federal legislators.
Allow the CDC to make recommendations for gun reform
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be allowed to conduct research on the dangers of gun violence. The fact that they are currently prohibited from doing so undermines the first amendment. It also violates the rights of the American people.
Raise the firearm purchase age to 21
In a few months from now, many of us will be turning 18. We will not be able to drink; we will not be able to rent a car. Most of us will still be living with our parents. We will not be able to purchase a handgun. And yet, we will be able to purchase an AR-15.
Dedicate more funds to mental health research and professionals
Federal and state government should earmark more funds specifically for mental health services. Those with mental health issues, especially those who express aggressive, violent, suicidal and/or homicidal thoughts should have the opportunity to receive the help they need regardless of their economic status.
Increase funding for school security
We believe that schools should be given sufficient funds for school security and resource officers to protect and secure the entire campus. As a school of over 3,000 students, teachers and faculty, Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school was only supplied funds to hire one on-campus armed resource officer by the state.
Are you participating in the March tomorrow? What do you think about the changes the students have listed? As always, please sound off in the comments.