The voices of the youth will change the course of this country. Millennials currently outnumber baby boomers by approximately 3 million people, and their younger counterparts, the members of Generation Z, almost double the total number of young people in the United States. The youth population has undeniable power that is only beginning to be unleashed. They are angry, they are increasingly informed and they demand to be heard.

The student walkouts on March 14 are just one display of remarkable solidarity. Where the government has failed, youth are responding with vigor. They are fed up. The reason that the Parkland, Florida, shooting has not faded into oblivion is because of the resilience of the student survivors.

Voices such as Emma Gonzalez are figureheads for younger generations, inspiring movements to begin and a ripple effect to occur. What is largely a movement led by the youth has led to small but important steps in gun reform. From the withdrawal of National Rifle Association benefits by major companies to stirs in Congress, change is brewing.

Children should not have to stand in front of their schools holding signs that say things like “Protect our kids, not our guns.” America is the only peacetime industrialized nation where gun violence is such a problem, and the solution should be a no-brainer. However, the fact that thousands of students, from elementary school through college, are standing up for what they know is right is undeniably cause for hope. Students are determined to make an impact. The weight of a vote is becoming more widely understood, and the youth are doing all they can to influence that.

Gun violence is only one issue of many in American politics needing drastic reform. However, the youth movements surrounding this issue display the impact of the younger population. The force that is the youth will move mountains.

Siana Emery

North Yarmouth