Ominous Eyes. Photo © Charles Versaggi
Photo © Charles Versaggi

Charles Versaggi: March for Our Lives

The March for Our Lives — The Camera as a Tool for Sociological Change

On March 24th my wife Serafina and I made a point to be in Washington, D.C. for the March for Our Lives. The march was an incredible experience that took both of us back to our days of youthful protests for the Civil Rights Movement and against the Vietnam War.

I was at the march also as a photographer. Having photographed other marches, notably the Women’s March earlier this year, I was reminded how the camera is a tool for sociological change that helps us better understand issues that are important to all of us.

 

Mentally Disturbed. Photo © Charles Versaggi

Mentally Disturbed. Photo © Charles Versaggi

 

Keep My School Safe. Photo © Charles Versaggi

Keep My School Safe. Photo © Charles Versaggi

 

I will vote! Photo © Charles Versaggi

I will vote! Photo © Charles Versaggi

For me this march was very personal and emotionally cathartic, releasing months of anger, exasperation, and helplessness with our political “new normal.” Among most protestors of whom were over 50, I now had my moment to demonstrate, to make my voice and presence heard, at one with nearly a million other voices, silent and vocal, to say enough is enough with gun violence.

 

Never Again Crowd. Photo © Charles Versaggi

Never Again Crowd. Photo © Charles Versaggi

In the week since they organized a worldwide protest against gun violence, student survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, have faced personal attacks and accusations that they want to repeal the second amendment. But the “March for Our Lives” position is not to repeal the second amendment, but to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.

 

Ominous Eyes. Photo © Charles Versaggi

Ominous Eyes. Photo © Charles Versaggi

Their specific demands include universal background checks, investment in public health research, and a ban on a subset of military-style “assault weapons,” as well as on higher-capacity ammunition magazines. These policies do not require a repeal of the Second Amendment, but enough votes in Congress to do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

 

Confrontation. Photo © Charles Versaggi

Confrontation. Photo © Charles Versaggi

The Parkland generation is teaching us what our generation may have forgotten or was too injured to act: we can make a difference. Do it for yourself, your kids, your grandkids, and the generations to come. The enemy is complacency.

The times they are a-change’n

–Charles Versaggi