Texas Metro News-April 2, 2018
We continue our series on the growing concern of gun violence in America. According to Gun Violence Archives, (http://www.gunviolencearchive.org) there has been 27 mass shootings in America resulting in 19 deaths and 60 injured since the tragic shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th. The disrespect of life continues, and many are weary that no gun control law will ever be passed in the United States.
Well look out America because Generation Z is mad as hell and they are not taking it anymore! Those troublesome teenagers have said enough is enough! Teenagers across this country have banned together to send a unified message that it is not OK to be gunned down in their schools and neighborhoods. They should feel safe in a place of academia as well as in a place of worship. Now whether they are paying attention and not on their cellular phones is irrelevant. They should feel safe in the knowledge they can ignore the teacher or preacher while playing their favorite game and not having to worry if someone is going to burst through the door and open fire.
Generation Z took it to the streets! No breakdancing battles for this group. This compulsive texting, Tide pod eating challenge, renegade teenagers scheduled school walkouts and marches? What! To see the transformation of this generation, unfold, the onlooking adults should feel a sense of pride with this group who is known for being reckless when it comes to human life. Unfortunately, Generation Z is being criticized and berated by adults. The kids’ message is very simple. They are simply saying they are done with accepting that it is okay for an individual to come into their school with an automatic weapon killing and injuring them and their friends as a means of retaliation.
Do not get me wrong, bullying is not okay. Everyone has the right to go to school and not be harassed based on their gender, sexual orientation, appearance, etc. We can agree, bullying is bad but who’s the bully now? Grown adults have lashed out at these teenagers for using their hormonal super powers for the greater good. Instead of praising these children, narrow minded adults decided to insult their intelligence by saying there is no way this generation could pull off organizing a protest march. They go one to say other adults are brainwashing these kids to come out in support of gun policy legislation. Really? When I think of my teenage nephew, if I had the power to brainwash him to do anything I would send a message to his brain to clean his messy room or take the trash out on Fridays without an adult nagging him. Many things I would like use to my “Doc Shep powers” on with this generation but gun control legislation is not on the top of my list.
So how did these disorderly, rambunctious teenagers pull this off? Hmm. Two words “SOCIAL MEDIA “people! This is not rocket science America. Generation Z will send you a text message before talking to you and they are sitting in the same house with you. I have witnessed college students plan a party in less than 10 minutes. You must give them credit. When they put their minds to something, positive or insane, it’s a done deal. Using their itching fingertips, Generation Z organized walk outs and protest marches using texting, Snapchat, Instagram, and even the archaic Facebook (Facebook is for “old folks” according to this group). On March 24, 2018, March for Our Lives rallies were held across the United States. Adults did not feel left out of this rally. Remember they are teenagers. They are broke! Mom and Dad did have to contribute to the cause to get the child to Washington D. C. Kudus Parents! Don’t worry, I am sure your son, daughter, or both paid you back by doing the laundry, cooking dinner, washing your car, and being an overall nice kid for a minimum of 24 hours post-rally.
It has been over 45 days since the massacre in Florida and our children are still demanding action for gun control policy. Adults, instead of criticizing this generation, how about we congratulate them on continuing to talk, scream, and of course text to ensure their message is not being lost because of their age. This will be a long process but as this generation continues to fight to be heard there are more adults listening.
For those who still do not understand why Generation Z is taking it to the streets. I shall leave you with this. While many teenagers are getting ready for prom and graduation, let us not forget the chairs that will be empty at graduation, the dinner table, family functions, because someone decided to take a gun into a school, church, or event and cut their lives short. ~Doc Shep Speaks
Dr. Felicia N. Shepherd