Tag Archives: marchforourlives

Artists play a role in politics

By Alejandra Gomez and Jasmeet Kaur

Staff Writers

Should artists play a role in politics? Of course they should. Artists need to play a role in politics because of the power and platform they have in our society today.

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Tahoma senior Vivienne Dimalanta

In a few interviews we conducted, students agreed with the argument above. In one interview, Tahoma senior Vivienne Dimalanta shared why she thinks artists should be involved in politics. She said, “Artists have a really big platform that they can utilize to get a certain message out, so they can reach a lot more people if they just post it online.”

This is true. Artists like Drake, Rihanna, Beyoncé and so many more have millions of followers on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram, so what they post never goes unnoticed. These artists can use their power and relationship with their fans to give attention to and support big important movements like the March For Our Lives movement.

#MarchforOurLives is the social media branch of the movement for stricter gun control started by determined students following a number of school shootings. A prominent member of this movement is Emma González (@emma4change), a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. that left 17 adults and children dead and others injured.

This movement has been given a lot of attention by artists as well. Many celebrities in the music business, such as Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber and many more, have shown their support for this movement in their own ways.

Demi Lovato performed at the national march for this movement, held on March 24 in Washington, D.C.

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25-year-old Miley Cyrus attended the movement and publicized some tweets from that day. She used her song “The Climb” to motivate others. 


Other artists supported the movement by tweeting about the march to acknowledge the students’ hard work and to publicize it as well. 

 

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All these artists, and many more, supported this movement in more ways than one, and that’s really important because the artists were able to reach a lot of people solely by posting about this march on their social media due to their huge platforms. Artists have a lot more reach than others, so their involvement in politics can really help our world if they use it in a positive way.

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Tahoma freshman Bianka Ortega

Artists can get involved in politics in other ways too, not just social media. Tahoma freshman Bianka Ortega said, “The music is something that everyone can hear, and you could spread messages through music. As you can see throughout history, music is being used to tell people things and to tell them stories; so if musical artists write about gun control, people will notice there’s something wrong, and wanna make a movement.”

Many believe that artists should take advantage of the position they are in to speak on issues like this. Some artists do. They use their music to talk about issues in politics or their thoughts on the world issues.

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Jermaine Lamarr Cole

J. Cole is an artist who speaks on behalf of the Black community about governmental issues in society today. One song that stands out in particular is “High For Hours.” This is a song about racism in society and a visit J. Cole made to president Obama, including a vivid portrayal of the conversation between him and President Obama in the lyrics.

He says, “American hypocrisy, oh let me count the ways. They came here seeking freedom and they end up owning slaves.” This line speaks for itself about the issue of slavery in our society, an issue is still present in some ways today. He goes on to talk about his conversation with the president, saying:

“I had a convo with the president, I paid to go and see him, thinking bout the things I said I’d say when I would see him. Feeling nervous, sitting in a room full of white folks, thinking about the black man plight, think I might choke, nope. Raised my hand and asked the man a question. ‘Does he see the struggles of his brothers in oppression? And if so, if you got all the power in the clout as the president, what’s keeping you from helping n****s out?’ Well I didn’t say n****, but you catch my drift. He look me in my eyes and spoke and he was rather swift. He broke the issues down and showed me he was well aware. I got the vibe he was sincere and that the brother cared, but dawg you in the chair, what’s the hold up? He said there’s things that I wanna fix, but you know this sh*t n****, politics. Don’t stop fighting and don’t stop believing. You can make the world better for your kids before you leave it.”

This is a good example of an artist using his voice to make songs about issues in society today. While Cole’s songs focus mostly on the struggles of Black people, other artists can also use their voice to convey other important messages through their songs as well. Another song by J. Cole that portrays messages about issues in the world is “Be Free,” and Cole also dedicated a whole album, “4 Your Eyez Only,” to sharing his views on society today, including governmental issues, along with other world problems. 

Artists all around the world can do many things to help the society we live in due to their platform and influence. They can post about issues or transmit their messages through their music to reach a lot more people. We believe that every citizen has a responsibility to the country and should work to make it better in whatever way they can contribute; which means that artists just have the same responsibility, but with a bigger advantage because of their fame. Artists should definitely use their power to make this world a better place.

Featured Image (at the top of the page): Students from Summit Tahoma participating in the March For Our Lives movement on March 14. 

 

Student protests are valid

By Trevor Wilson

Staff Writer

The March for Our Lives recently happened; and, if you have been living under a rock, let me fill you in on what the March for Our Lives movement is. March for Our Lives is a student protest against gun control.

This all started after a school shooting, as students should react in some way to such violence. The students who survived set up a march, and several of the survivors became leading figures in the protest.

March for Our Lives is a school walkout where people abandon school and walk in protest. Now, this is different from other protests because students are the main protesters, so, for some critics, that calls into question the validity of the march.

This is a large talking point about March for Our Lives: Does the fact that these people talking about gun control are children make the march invalid?

On one side, these children have lots of experience with this topic because it actually affects them, so they should be talking about it. On the other hand, they are children, so they could be considered be less mature, experienced, etc.

First, the arguments against these children being activists: The possible reasons that critics give for teenagers not to protest revolve around maturity.

One reason is that since teenagers have not been around as long, so they would not be as knowledgeable and might not be as effective at protesting.

Second, teenagers are just less mature than adults. The fact that teenagers are less mature might make them less effective at protesting.

The fact that teenagers are less mature might muddle the message. Their immaturity might lead people who oppose them to wrongly present their message.

Third, many believe teenagers cannot research the problem they are protesting against. For example, they might not research the specific modifications needed to make a gun fully automatic and the implications of stopping the circulation of certain models of guns.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are the arguments for why children should be allowed to protest. This is important because not allowing people to address problems that affect them would let those problems continue.

First, preventing young people from protesting is not in the law. The right to protest still applies to people under 18 because of the First Amendment. 

What if the students do know what they are talking about? Teenagers are less likely to truly research their topic; but, if they do know about their topic then they should be able to protest.

The fact that people do not research their topics thoroughly is applicable to adults too. Adults are able to go into a situation with knowledge or blind, and so are teenagers.

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Teenagers do not have the same experience as adults, but teenagers do have access to adults. For example, one of the leaders had help editing her speech.

So teenagers are less likely to be prepared to defend a serious topic, but they are able to. Like the people who survived the school shooting that started March for Our Lives – they have first-hand experience of their topic, so they are extremely motivated to learn about gun control and to prepare themselves to defend gun regulations.

So what does this mean for age constrictions? Should they be raised? Well, it depends.

Lowering the voting age might be a viable option, because 18 does not necessarily mark maturity related to how people approach or research political problems. 

However, changing other age-specific regulations would not be a viable option. For example, driving or drinking.

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The age at which someone is allowed to drive is based on how much experience you have with driving and that limit should not be changed.

And the age at which people are legally allowed to drink should not be raised because of many of the same reasons. Namely, at young ages, your body is not ready for alcohol.

Yes, the students can defend a point and protest. They can research a topic and be mature enough to defend their arguments.

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Everest students join nationwide walkout

By Katherine Enriquez, Ale Navarro, Esmeralda Pacheco and Rylee Storms

Staff Writers

A planned student-led walkout on Wednesday is the latest step in the #NeverAgain movement, a nationwide call for action in response to a deadly school shooting.

On Feb. 14, 2018 in Parkland, Fla., 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz

Cruz made disturbing posts on Instagram and YouTube, posting pictures of guns and writing about his plans to become a school shooter. Despite these clear warning signs, he was able to legally obtain over 10 rifles, one of which he used in the shooting.

Parkland was far from the first school shooting; however, it was one of the most lethal, taking a spot in the top 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. So far, four countries have enacted very strict gun laws that have proven effective; the United States has not.

Now, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas and many other schools, including Everest Public High School in Redwood City, are protesting in support of stricter gun control.

Nationwide walkouts will take place on March 14. Everest students will be participating, along with other local schools, by hosting a 17-minute rally at 10 a.m. The rally, meant to honor the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting, will be followed by a march to City Hall. 

While most schools are planning a rally, Everest students decided to add a march downtown to emphasize their commitment.

“The walkout was organized this way because we thought that 17 minutes of our time would not speak as loud as ditching and making ourselves heard by walking all the way to City Hall to speak about this issue. We also thought that by joining together with other schools it would: one, bring more students; two, see that private, charter and public high school really care and are on the same boat of interest,” Everest junior Samantha Suchite explained. You can find more information about the planned protest here

The Women’s March movement is supporting the March 14 protests, keeping track of where student-led walkouts are happening and endorsing them.

Following the March 14 protests, students across the nation are planning further action. The March For Our Lives will happen on March 24. The D.C. event will include students who survived the Parkland shooting. There is also a National School Walkout planned for April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine school shooting. 

Here’s a selection of posts from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas student advocates:

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As students advocate for changes to our national gun control policies, it’s worth taking a look at the status quo. Here’s a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand the debate:

1. How do background checks work?

One modern day gun control policy is to have background checks on the buyers. Buyers have to go through a process that includes filling out a form that makes them answer questions about their background and criminal record. The dealer then contacts the National Instant Criminal Background Check System with the buyer’s filled-out form and Social Security number. Private sellers currently are not required to perform background checks on their customers.

2. How extensive are background checks?

At least 90 percent of cases are approved in short periods of times (almost immediately). In some cases a buyer might face a longer process because of a number of reasons, such as having a criminal background, incomplete records or legal cases related to mental health. The FBI then has three extra days to do further research. If the seller does not receive a denial or an approval, the seller can then sell the gun to the buyer.

3. What exactly is an assault weapon?

Although there are many opinions of what an assault weapon is or what weapons fall into that category, one thing is for sure – they all create serious damage. An example of an automatic weapon is a machine gun, which will continue to fire as long as the trigger is held down and the gun still has ammunition. Examples of semi- automatic weapons are rifles, pistols and shotguns, more specifically AK-47 and AR-15 rifles. The difference between an automatic gun and a semi-automatic gun is that a semi-automatic gun requires that the shooter pull the trigger in order to fire another round.

The AR-15, which stands for ArmaLite Rifle, was developed in the 1950s. The gun can cause a tremendous amount of damage to its target while firing up to 45 bullets per round per minute, as stated in its manual. It is able to fire as soon as it feels the smallest touch on its trigger. An AR-15-style gun was used in the Parkland shooting, and some have suggesting banning sales on this type of weapon.

4. How influential are bump stocks?

Bump stocks are specially designed to make firing easier, and they are currently legal in the United States. Bump stocks are dangerous because they can make they gun fire faster than it normally would. As the trigger undergoes compression, the front of the gun recoils against the bump stock. This equipment was used in the Las Vegas shooting, and some (including Trump administration officials) have called for banning any further sales. 

5. Where can I get more information about gun control policies?

The Council on Foreign Relations put together this resource sheet detailing how U.S. gun control policies compare to those of other countries. A German broadcaster put together this list of facts about U.S. gun control policy. Vox compiled this collection of maps and charts to show why the United States has such a unique relationship to gun violence.

Related:

Everest students march against gun violence