March for Our Lives: Just show up

March+for+Our+Lives%3A+Just+show+up

Mallika Singh

This past Saturday morning, March 24, I was one of thousands to participate in the San Jose March for Our Lives and one of millions to walk nationwide. I walked and watched others around me walk to show support for a more extensive form of gun control. Standing in the rain on the streets of San Jose and listening to the speeches from people proposing gun control reform, it was easy to think, ‘What would be different if I wasn’t standing here?’ The answer, is everything.

Of course it was not easy for me to come to this answer. And I’m sure many before me have also questioned what their attendance in marches like this one would really do for the cause. At the march on Saturday, however, was when I finally came to this answer.

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My extended family is somewhat divided on how to show their support for gun control. While my parents and I will attend these marches and support the cause completely, I’ve recently found that other members of my family – cousins, aunt and uncles – are not so readily supportive. They have slipped into the mindset of ‘What is my presence at this march doing?’ or even ‘What is the point of marching at all?’

My answer, again, is everything.

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When I first heard people asking these questions, I was taken aback. My initial reaction was just shock. I couldn’t seem to understand this way of thinking. But during the march, I too started to wonder about the real purpose of my being there and who it was helping. It wasn’t until later in the day, when I went through my pictures and videos of the day, that I saw just how many people came to the march to show their support and realized what my purpose was.

It was to show up.

I’m sure at some point everyone has wondered what impact these marches actually have. Well, that’s the thing. It’s not up to one person to determine whether or not these marches are useful. It’s just our job to be there. If everyone felt insignificant about their usefulness at these marches and all decided to stay at home and let others go, no one would be at the march.

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It’s our responsibility to show up when we believe in something. I’ve heard people say that they are supporters of gun control but they don’t see the effectiveness of the march or the walkout. While I respect that opinion, we have to remember that every march and every walkout all contribute to a bigger cause. No single march is going to solve anything. But, millions of people marching nationwide will catch people’s attention, which is the whole point. We need to focus on that. We need to focus on what we’re fighting for. If we get too caught up in ourselves, we won’t get anywhere.

To me, it’s simple. If you believe in something, you show up. Nothing should be complicated about this.

We have to keep our eyes on the prize if we want to save lives. All we have to do is show up.

Take a look at some of the photos below.

March for Our Lives 2018