The Facebook Generation Can End Gun Violence

The past couple days have been awful.

Nearly every morning I wake up, look at my phone, and think to myself, “I wonder what horrific thing happened today?” Monday I woke up and checked Facebook because I wasn’t ready to deal with real news. Instead of finding dog bath videos, I found a series of Facebook statuses from a friend who traveled to Las Vegas for work. He was staying at Mandalay Bay for a business conference. When the gunshots started to ring and chaos descended around him, he accounted the experience in real time using Facebook statuses. He is safe, unlike the dozens of people who lost their lives and hundreds more who were injured.

I wanted to write a post about fake celebrity butts today, but I couldn’t get the events of Sunday
night, and the first-person narrative that I was able to read on Facebook, out of my mind. Gun
violence is this awful, confusing, seemingly impossible problem to fix. But as I was haphazardly
trying to solve the issue of gun violence in my mind, I couldn’t help but to go back to my friend
and the way he used social media to report on the events of last night in real time. There was no
media spin, no political agenda, just a young man desperately trying to survive and provide an
insight into the belly of the beast. It was actual reporting.

If we are the generation to connect people in ways that have never been done before, if I can
know and feel my friend trembling behind a column during the shooting, can we be the
generation that ends gun violence in America? I don’t have any concrete answers. But I believe
in the audacity of our generation, of one that created ways of communicating and accessing
information that has changed the fabric of how we live. If we can develop new ways to see it,
feel it, experience it, can we be the ones who are compelled to stop it?

I think we can. I am a young person shaken by these acts of terror, particularly the attacks on
concerts and clubs. I know the people who watch our show are in the same boat as me. When we
want something, we invent it or demand it. Let’s decide to be done with this barbarism so we can get back to enjoying concerts, using Facebook to share dog bath photos and not first-hand accounts of massacres. Let’s be that generation that said: no more.