April 24, 2018

MSD Survivors and MetroWest Residents Rally for Gun Control in Livingston

Michael Lurie ‘21

Many politicians and media outlets often say after a mass shooting, such as the most recent tragedy in Parkland, there must be time to grieve before the discussion about a solution to gun violence begins. However, if anyone should have a say in whether it is appropriate to discuss gun legislation, it is the survivors of the shootings themselves.
At a gun control rally held at Temple B'nai Abraham in Livingston on February 25, we had the opportunity to speak with three students who survived the Parkland shooting, as well as the brother of a survivor, an alumni of Marjory Stoneman Douglas. They let us know their opinions on gun control and what others can do to help the cause.
Every student had extremely strong opinions favoring heavy gun control legislation. Considering their first hand experience with the destruction a gun can cause, this comes as no surprise.
“My life was changed because my friends are dead,” Harris Jaffe, 16, a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas said. “And my life was changed because someone came into my school with an AR-15 weapon, that should be illegal and shot people.”
Jaffe is spreading his ideas by focusing on the fact that the current generation has the power to make change in the country. Many followers of the Never Again movement have called Parkland students like Jaffe an inspiration, but he thinks that no individuals should stand out above the rest.
“The inspiration should be the movement,” he said, “and what we are going to do as a generation.”
Junior David Hogg, 17, shared Jaffe’s beliefs, saying that the followers of the movement should be an inspiration to themselves.
Jaffe, along with freshman Lauren Hogg, 14, noted that social media is the best way to help spread the word about events, rallies and walkouts.
“It’s our generation that has the use of social media and has the opportunity to make change,” she said.
Matthew Deutch, 20, the brother of a student at MSD and an alumnus, agreed, also noting that with modern technology, we can view politicians’ platforms and information about them with ease, making it easier to support candidates who have corresponding beliefs.
Lauren also stressed the importance of speaking with anyone and everyone about gun control. All students shared the idea that the gun issue must stay a relevant subject and that it cannot leave the regular news cycle.
“As long as we keep talking, as long as we making this a focal point in political conversation, then change will come,” Deutch said.
He also emphasized that through the Jewish community, word travels faster than anywhere else, making it necessary for Jews to have these conversations within their closely knit communities.
Deutch explained clearly what the goal of their movement is: “Gun control to a lot of people is a dirty word,” he said. However, he makes clear that the ultimate goal is not to ban all guns or take away second amendment rights.
“Gun control is simply to say that we’re trying to stop bad people from getting these weapons of war,” he added.
If the students who have been directly affected by the mass shooting in Parkland think now is the appropriate time to discuss common sense gun legislation, then they more than anyone should be heard. Their efforts are to not let anyone else ever experience what they did, in honor of the 17 lives lost.

“We don’t want to be known as the last school that got shot up,” said Jaffe. “We want to be known as the last school that ever got shot up.”


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