Never again. These are the words that reverberated through the overpass as we marched from San Jose City Hall to Arena Green.  The chants of fifteen thousand students and citizens from the Bay Area echoed off the concrete walls, which duplicated our voices and made it sound like the millions of gun violence victims were right there shouting beside us. As if the 17 students slain in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that sparked this movement were lifting their voices too. On March 24th, 2018, we were able to achieve one of the largest community gatherings in San Jose’s history. However, with 49 mass shootings in 2019 as of March 3rd, it is evident that we still have much work to do.


In order to create central, viable solutions, it is important to address that gun violence does not always look the same; this issue includes mass shootings, suicides, domestic abuse, violence on our streets, and more. It is vital to remember that our youth and communities of color are disproportionately affected by this violence, and we must focus more on preventing trauma than comparing it. Bullets do not discriminate and our response to violence cannot either.


Just because California has some of the strictest gun regulations in the nation does not discount that our roles in the firearm epidemic are vital. The Torrence, Palm Springs, and Thousand Oaks shootings have still happened. Our organization aims to equip people with the necessary knowledge and tools to further the movement. Enforcing laws are important. Addressing mental health is important. Keeping our local representatives in check is important.


Most of all, mobilizing youth is important. Through pursuing legislative change both locally and nationally and gathering in masses to spread awareness, we hope to empower and invite young activists into the political sphere. As the future of today’s society, it is crucial they are included in the gun sense conversation and emphasize that their voices matter. Every day since March 24th, 2018, we have been ensuring that this campaign never loses steam. We will not stop our advocacy until we see the change we demand.