Teen Gun Control Advocates Perform Rallying Poem “We Ask Back”

After the Parkland shooting, it’s clear students and young people are leading the fight toward gun control in the U.S. Students from White Plains High School in New York worked with Dazed Magazine to make their voices heard. Their poem and accompanying video, titled “We Ask Back,” interrogates politicians’ inaction on guns and demands young people and their opinions be taken seriously.

The video features these teens in their community, taking to the streets for gun control.

The poem, written by 17-year-old high school senior Harriet Rose, questions why are teenagers criticized for having an opinion on an issue that affects them deeply? U.S. teenagers are 82 percent more likely to die from gun violence than in other wealthy nations.

“When I was approached by Dazed to make this film, I was excited to showcase the hard work of White Plains High School activists, but I felt too like there was a lot at stake,” said Harriet Rose. “It was really important to me that the video be as inclusive as possible, since gun violence touches so many different communities. I didn’t want my voice to overpower anyone else who had something to say; instead I wanted it to encourage people to speak up.”

We’ve watched as kids just like us learned to text goodbye to their parents. While the rich politicians around us watch the news, blankly staring.

With so much media coverage on the gun control issue there’s an issue of what is helpful to the movement and what is a distraction.

“The world needs to accept that this movement will not be co-opted by adults around us. Teenagers are not going anywhere, said Rose. “That’s kind of what the poem in the video is supposed to be about. All the talk of high school seniors leading this movement instead of Washington Democrats seemed like a distraction from the real issue – that kids were dying in school right as we spoke.”

Today, in nationwide March for Our Lives demonstrations, people are marching to say never again — with teens at the front lines.

Also published on Medium.