Moving forward, don’t forget

Olivia Eastly

In February 2018, 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It’s been almost a month since the shooting, and I can feel the news cycle moving on. The media has gone back to starting every morning with the latest scandal in the White House. Fourteen children died, but America is forgetting.

Our nation isn’t moving forward, but we are moving on. If we were making progress, we would be listening to the nation’s youth. Lobbies would be powerless compared to the masses. People would be able to have civil conversations about politics.

Instead, we accuse high schoolers of being “snowflakes” or “crisis actors.” Politicians take millions of dollars from the NRA. Conversations about policy turn into shouting matches. America is trapped in a horrendous cycle of violence and anger, and there is no easy way to escape.

The only solution is knowledge. It’s the media’s job to cover the stories that matter, not just the stories that receive the most clicks or views. Fluff pieces may make us feel good, but in today’s society, they are just distractions. Tawdry gossip about celebrities might be fun to read, but it doesn’t matter. The media can’t stop talking about shootings. If you think Parkland isn’t relevant anymore, then you’re part of the problem.

It pains me to read news stories about a new mass or school shooting each day, but I still read about them. I know that it is my responsibility as a civilian to arm myself not with a gun, but with knowledge and compassion. I’m not anti-gun. I support common sense gun reform, like what occurred in Australia after the Port Arthur massacre. Lawmakers there banned semi-automatic weapons. There is now a 28-day waiting period to get a weapon, and people need a good reason to have a gun.

The media should push stories like the death of 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington at the hands of a gunman. Arrington was a senior at Huffman High School and was one of two students shot on March 7. Her dreams of becoming a nurse were crushed. Another student was injured. I make a point of reading the news every day, and I have barely seen anything about them.

Citizens have a responsibility to pay attention and demand coverage of the important stories. Don’t click on that headline about Stormy Daniels today. Instead, search for Courtlin Arrington. Show the media that we not only want, but need, to hear the stories of victims. When America starts hearing and paying attention to all the facts about gun violence, I promise we will get gun control.

Olivia Eastly is social media promoter. Contact her at [email protected].