USE YOUR WORDS Against Gun Violence

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Speak UP. Speak LOUD. Speak OUT. We citizens, students, and children of the United States of America cannot stay silent any longer. We cannot stay silent when we, as thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds, can just as easily get guns as we can bubble gum and a Coke. We cannot stay silent when innocent children are being mercilessly murdered, unprovoked, by a weapon that is simply too rife and too dangerous. We cannot stay silent when we are scared to go to school because every time we step into our school’s front door we run the risk of getting shot in the head. We cannot stay silent when we, living in Arizona, have some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country. We cannot stay silent when the senators, representatives, and the President of our country -- who are supposed to be protecting us and having our best interest at heart -- turn the other cheek. We will not be silent, and we will not be silenced. We stand united in firm support of gun control.

The adults of America have failed us. Adults, you tell us that one day we’ll thank you. We are not thanking you right now. Adults, you tell us that children are to be seen, not heard. We are being heard right now. Adults, you tell us to bite our tongues. We are done biting our tongues. We encourage every single person in America -- young or old, male or female, black or white, gay or straight, liberal or conservative -- to stand up to the adults in our government that are sitting idly by as children are being killed while you are reading this. Stand up, and write. Write to your mayor, your city council-person, your senator, representative, the President, and ask them what they are doing to protect you. Demand action. Tell them that we will not stop until we get what we want.

Let’s pledge to write a letter, just one letter, to make a genuine difference. Let’s use our words. Let’s overwhelm them with our passion, our rage, and our sheer numbers. Let’s make it so we cannot be ignored. After all, the pen is mightier than the gun.

- Alexander Ashman, Siena Liljegren, Yash Wadwekar, and the Writers Over Rifles team


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(Image from Stephanie Strasburg/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP).

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