Students hold gun control forum, encourage peers to vote
October 23, 2018
On Saturday, October 13, York sophomore Ava Uditsky organized a forum to discuss gun control in the United States with powerful speeches by Parkland survivors.
The goal of the forum was to have a sophisticated discussion on gun violence in the United States and to get young people energized to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
“We hoped that by telling the stories of Lauren and Ryan, who have both endured mass shootings, that young people would empathize and go out and vote,” Uditsky said. “March for Our Lives specifically is excited about getting people to vote and excited about what young people can do to advocate for ourselves.”
The forum included featured speakers such as Lauren Hogg and Ryan Servaites, both survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School which took the lives of 17 individuals back in February. According to activists, this shooting was different in that students were leading the charge to end violence in schools.
“[The shooting] changed the lives of so many students across the country,” Uditsky said. “And now we are starting to learn how to use our voice. March for Our Lives is very focused on teaching students how to use their voice and vote to make the world a better place.”
One way in which the students hope to end violence in schools is through education itself. The students pride themselves on being educated about the issue of gun violence and want to help others become educated on the issue as well.
“We focus on changing minds to save lives,” Uditsky said. “Educate yourself on all these issues, and educate others who can vote.”
In this way, students hope to influence those who can vote in the midterm elections. And for Uditsky, there is more to do.
“There are so many things that I want to do,” Uditsky said. “The midterms which are days away are my biggest focus right now, but after we can hold meetings with our politicians, start a club, or hold a forum. There are endless ways to get involved and I hope students at York and across the country will use their voices because that is the most important thing for our future.”