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The youth voice from March for our Lives RVA

This past Saturday 5,000 people gathered to support March for our Lives RVA.  Local youth shared their concerns about gun violence in schools and communities. Here are some of their words:

When my mom sends me to school, she expects me to come home.

Guns are the reason I never got to meet my uncle. Just two weeks ago my mom heard the shot that killed my friend’s boyfriend.

How many more black families will be devastated by gun violence – threatened or killed by the people whose job it is to serve and protect? How many more times do my parents have to give me that talk explaining to me that I’m 10 times more likely to become a victim of gun violence because I am black?

If adults won’t stand up for us, we will stand up for ourselves.

This is not a partisan issue. No one wants kids being murdered in our schools.

I want candidates that will support magazines for education not for guns.

The president and the government say we are the future, but they’re not protecting our future.

If we cannot change their minds, we can change their seats





The U.....nion Hill 03/28/2018 at 6:53 AM

I’m not trying to mean or funny, but these recent marches have inspired me to join the NRA. I’m just not interested in surrendering freedoms like the (ironically majority white) people pictured above.

Jason S 03/28/2018 at 12:50 PM

Why is it ironic that these protesters are majority white?

The U.....nion Hill 03/28/2018 at 1:47 PM

Well, I find it a little ironic that the group people that is apparently most likely to be impacted by gun violence isn’t more prominent at a rally to curb gun violence. (I’m referencing the third quote.)

Jason S 03/28/2018 at 5:49 PM

Irony, you say.

In between the lines, it reads more like you feel somehow validated about a racist theory you hold on to. But that “validation” doesn’t stem from any broad empirical evidence, just the turnout of one particular event protesting mass shootings in schools.

When brown people protest violence that disproportionately affects communities of color, it’s met with criticism. People like you are quick to denounce it as prejudiced and declare that ALL lives matter.

On the other hand, when brown folks aren’t the majority at a protest like the one above, you criticize us for not being part of an effort to improve the community.

The fact is that there are many, many, many people of color in Church Hill, Richmond and throughout this country combating gun violence. Because the turnout at this particular event wasn’t a majority African American doesn’t mean that the African American community isn’t hard at work trying to deter gun violence every single day of the year.

Jason S 03/28/2018 at 6:30 PM

Irony, you say.

How about for irony: you quoting a person of color protesting as your argument that people of color aren’t protesting.

The U.....nion Hill 03/29/2018 at 7:30 AM

Since all lives apparently don’t matter, I entrust you with the honor of providing a detailed catalog of the ones that do. We can then submit this to our legislators to in act special protections to only the people you specified. Deal?

Also, please refrain from broad reaching personal attacks it is very unbecoming. You made some good points, but they were off set by the mud slinging.

L 03/29/2018 at 8:36 AM

I don’t want to wade into the back and forth in the previous comments, but: What frustrates me is that it seems like middle class/white/mainstream/whatever America turns out to protest whenever there is a mass, public shooting, but generally ignores gun violence in low income and minority communities.

Maybe it’s just my impression, but it always feels like people only care when a mass shooting makes them realize that gun violence could actually harm people in their community, where they live, rather than in some other community that they never visit if they can help it.

Maybe it has nothing to do with race or class. Maybe it’s the sense that mass shootings are random and could happen to anyone, as opposed to “individual” shootings which tend to be specific, personal and/or crime related. Maybe it’s just that mass shootings get more media attention. Hell, maybe I have a false impression of the whole thing. But I still find it unsettling to think about, considering that “small” or (tragically) “routine” gun violence likely kills far more people.

Jason Satterwhite 03/29/2018 at 8:51 AM

I stand by what I wrote, the parts you consider unbecoming included. And there’s my full name so you know who you’re talking to. I believe that when we’re having a community discussion about preventing children from being murdered and assaulted with deadly weapons, that you can toughen up and handle a difficult discussion. Particularly if you want to throw shade on a whole community because of preconceived notions. So with all due respect, I don’t give a damn whether you consider my position unbecoming.

I support your right to join the NRA and encourage you to fight for the principles you believe in. I do. Despite the rhetorical and pointed way that you posed these topics, they are questions that certainly deserve discussion. A lot of people genuinely don’t have a place to hear and consider different angles to these questions. I’m ready to have the discussion with you about guns in schools, or gun violence disproportionately affecting communities of color. Or discuss the topic of how all lives matter but some communities, for reasons that might not be immediately evident, deserve and need extra support to combat gun violence. Whatever you want to talk about.

The U.....nion Hill 03/29/2018 at 11:08 AM

Conversations are fine, but you insinuated racism ,created the strawman argument with the statement “people like you” and immediately started put words in my mouth I have never uttered. Maybe I didn’t articulate myself well enough(I prefer doing math), but my overall feeling is that the movement would have had more validity if the demographics were more reflective of the people who are most impacted. Not to say people from the impacted ares aren’t trying….and when they do they have my full support. I still can’t rally behind this march, because I feel the sponsors (i.e. Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown)are mostly interested in grabbing guns rather than addressing inner city violence.

Anyway, I have said my peace, so no more from me. Have a good day and keep on rockin in the free world.

Joshua 03/29/2018 at 12:27 PM

If your first instinct is to join the NRA because terrified kids and their parents are marching rather than saying “How do we stop this from ever happening again?” then we don’t have a difference in political opinion. We have a difference in morality.

Jason Satterwhite 03/29/2018 at 1:36 PM

Thank you for speaking your piece. I respect that a lot. I really do.

My comment that “you criticize us for not being part of an effort to improve the community.” was not putting words in your mouth. That was repeating the words you typed into the computer as the first response to this story.

I understand now why the “people like you” comment struck a nerve, I get it. I’m sorry that you feel generalized. Maybe try reading that sentence again with “some humans”:

“When brown people protest violence that disproportionately affects communities of color, it’s met with criticism. *Some humans* are quick to denounce it as prejudiced and declare that ALL lives matter.”

Your response was to sarcastically explain how all lives matter.

I stand by what I wrote, but I also better understand how you feel and hope that this conversation can somehow evolve into a dialogue about how to help improve the situation. We might disagree about gun ownership rights, but I know we collectively agree that children don’t deserve to get shot. If you’re interested in talking about how to decrease/prevent gun violence in our schools and the community, I’m all for continuing the conversation. and if not, that’s OK too. Thanks for having the discussion, I think it helps.


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