Hate is not the answer to problems

Liz Stephens, Contributing Writer

I am appalled by the amount of comments on Facebook telling Emma Gonzalez, a Florida student and survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who is advocating gun violence prevention, to “burn in hell” over a fake, Photoshopped image of her ripping the Bill of Rights.

First off, whether edited on Photoshop or not, I don’t understand how wishing death upon anybody would make any positive change or impact resulting in what anybody actually wants, whether that be people trying to “protect” the second amendment or those who are for gun violence prevention.

On Sunday morning I shared this image of Gonzalez on my social media and received disturbing comments in response from a feisty conservative who thinks this whole movement is an effort to take away his second amendment rights.

I didn’t agree with the man’s arguments about how the image was not edited, or the meme he posted, which said, “You’re screaming to restrict a constitutional right, while wearing a Cuban flag patch on your arm.”

It is not anybody’s constitutional right to shoot up schools or kill others with guns. Gonzalez is not screaming to restrict rights of people owning guns—she is screaming to stop the killing of innocent people and students.

Before anybody jumps to the conclusion that my experience at Eastern has turned me into some extreme liberal who thinks our government should collect and destroy all guns and repeal the Second Amendment, I will clarify that they are wrong.

With this being said, I remember seeing news alerts about the Mattoon High School shooting, and still can feel the pit in my stomach of when I realized one of my family members was in the school.

While my cousin Adam wasn’t harmed, I don’t want issues such as this to remain unsolved because people cannot attempt to talk to others and understand other perspectives.

A meme being made about Gonzalez wearing a Cuban patch during her speech not only attempts to take away from the powerful truth in her speech because the creator of it is uncomfortable with her perspective, but it is also disgustingly disrespectful.

Since when did making a meme to pick on a young girl for being proud of her heritage become a relevant counter-argument as to how she was supposedly threatening their Second Amendment rights during her speech?

Hate is not a solution for any problems, and I hope people won’t actually support this irrelevant and uneducated argument the maker of the meme is proposing.

Gonzalez’s Cuban flag on her clothing doesn’t make her any less of an American than anybody else, especially when she is fighting for the safety of her peers–which some people who are against the movement are dismissing and accepting.

I hope this movement and discussion keeps going forward despite whatever viewpoint people have, so that deaths are not dismissed and seen as an “oh well, that’s how life goes” type situation. People communicating all sides of every argument in an educated and understanding manner will help come up with ideas to prevent more tragedies from gun violence in the future.


Liz Stephens is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].