By now, we all know about the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. 17 students and teachers are now dead, and many more are injured. I, for one, am tired of hearing about so many children that are dying, in addition to other mass shootings in our nation.
However, for those like me, it is difficult to support the fight for gun control. As a kid, I cannot do much--one of the major things being voting. Another problem is that sometimes adults do not take children seriously. I find it hard to speak up and raise my voice. I know that this is true for many kids with strong opinions. It can be scary to fight the standard, especially when your elders belittle you or weaken your voice.
I’ve compiled a list of things you, as a younger person, can do--not only for gun control, but for any political topic.
1. Social Media
I know that many of the younger children may not have social media or even phones, but if you are a bit older, this can be really important. So many people are on social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, and others. If you really want to spread your opinions, social media can be a great place to start. Not only is there a lot of publicity, but you can keep as much of your identity as you want secret. People may take you more seriously, and might even listen to you.
2. Write to Politicians
In our society, politicians have all the power. They write the laws and approve them. They are the ones that can make a difference. By writing to senators, congressmen, even the president, you can change a vote. By knowing what the people think--what the future people will think--politicians can work to fulfill the ideas so many citizens are behind.
3. Write to Magazines And/Or Newspapers
Although most publications want more professional writing, there are plenty that do accept submissions from children. There are also many that will take letters to the editor. You can always find out how to submit letters on the magazine’s website. As for writing sources written by kids, you can find a list of good publications at this link: https://www.authorspublish.com/15-magazines-that-publish-writing-by-children-and-teens/ Some of them have age limits or writing guidelines, so make sure to read those before publishing anything.
4. Express Your Opinions Through Art Forms (Including Dance, Drama, and Singing)
If you are not into writing, or you are into artistic expression, this can be a great way to show a story or point of view. Many artists create work that showcases the political environment of the world at present. For inspiration, look at pieces created by artists. This can include fine art, photography, and plays.
5. Talk About It
Talking to people in power can be really useful. Even if it is just your parents or someone else in your family, discussing your opinions can make a difference. Giving older people new ideas can help them spread the word. They might also give you new ideas to think about, and therefore expand you political insight. In addition to talking to authority, you can also strike up a conversation with other kids. Children have more flexible minds, so they might be less stubborn and be willing to listen to you. Who knows, you might even have them question their ideas, and change for the better.
I have an African proverb on the calendar in my room that says, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito...” You are never too young to change the world. Remember to keep on fighting for what is right, and don’t ever back down from it.