The Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivors changed the narrative around gun reform in America after the Valentine’s Day shooting in Parkland, Florida. They refused to remain quiet when powerful lobbies claimed it wasn’t appropriate to talk about the politics of guns, and they stood up, calling on all students to join them in the fight to end gun violence in our classrooms and our communities.

One month later, Massachusetts students joined with their peers across the country to walk out of their schools — or out of their un-shoveled driveways — to demand that their lives are prioritized over access to guns. They gathered from all over the commonwealth, braving icy roads and stalled MBTA systems. Hailing both from the suburbs and inner-city neighborhoods, these students stood in solidarity with victims of gun violence throughout the country. They offered empathy and compassion to the survivors and victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy, but most of all, they turned that empathy inwards: to their own communities and to the communities in Boston that have been erased from the narrative of gun violence throughout history.

In Massachusetts, our representatives and legislators have taken decisive action on gun reform by passing an assault weapons ban to protect us from mass shootings. As youth, we are empowered to know that state legislation bolsters this movement and supports our voices.

But there is more to this conversation than legislation, and there is more to gun violence than mass shootings.

The national conversation on guns ignores a vital reality for communities in Boston and across the country. A slim fraction of gun-related deaths are the result of mass shootings. According to statistics from the Gun Violence Archive and estimates from the CDC, only about one percent of gun-related deaths in 2015 were from mass shootings.

When we prioritize ending mass shootings above ending gun violence, we ignore a harsh truth: that mass shootings are a very small piece of the gun violence problem in America.

Right now, national attention and calls to action are primarily focused on assault weapon bans. This legislation resonates with me: I don’t believe that anyone’s right to own a weapon of war outstrips my own right to safety. But assault-rifles aren’t the cause of most gun-related deaths in America. In 2016, rifles accounted for just over 3 percent of gun homicide deaths, while handguns accounted for about 65 percent, according to the Criminal Justice Information Services Division of the FBI.

When we shift our focus from gun violence in general to mass shootings in particular, we ignore the real and catastrophic handgun violence happening in city streets each day. And when we ignore that handgun violence, we also discount the stories from the communities that experience it most.

Gun violence in communities of color is explicitly different and undeniably more common than gun violence in white communities. In America, simply being born a black boy paints a target thirteen times larger than being born a white boy. African Americans, though they are only 14 percent of the population, account for 50 percent of the bodies broken by bullets.

The national narrative surrounding gun violence calls on our representatives to keep our kids safe in their schools. But what about in their streets? This movement is for all victims of gun violence — both mass shootings and handgun deaths. A life is a life, and we must honor each life lost with integrity and care. When we direct our attention exclusively to victims of mass shootings, we silence those who are most impacted by gun violence: communities of color.

We cannot rely on national legislation aimed at banning bump stocks or assault weapons to protect black and brown children in Boston and beyond. If we stop the dialogue at school shootings, we push aside the issues faced by communities of color because the violence they face is typically at the end of handgun, trafficked illegally through the Iron Pipeline. Extreme risk protection order bills might not protect black and brown children because the high levels of distrust between communities of color and law enforcement limit the effectiveness of “red flag” laws.

People of color are disproportionately affected by gun violence. Their voices are repeatedly silenced, even as they call for safety in their communities and in this country. They are further isolated when the gun violence conversation centers around issues faced primarily by white communities. They are almost removed from the dialogue that should be structured around them. This must stop.

On March 14, as I addressed the community of students and teachers in the Gardner Auditorium on Beacon Hill, I felt a certain solidarity within the space. Maybe it was the chants we lead: “Enough is enough!” followed by “No justice, no peace!” Maybe it was the snaps that bolstered each impassioned speech. Maybe it was something more.

That day, we, the students, seemed to collectively understand that our efforts must be grounded in the awareness that communities of color are the root of this movement. We united around the idea that we must seek not just to make our voices heard but to amplify the minority voices that are all too often kept out of the debate. Whether we are from Mattapan or Marblehead, we will be heard.

On March 14, the same day that students from around the state gathered to demand action and gun reform, one person was shot in Roxbury. Click-click-boom.

We must stand in solidarity — now and indefinitely — with the victims of gun violence not only in the schools, but in the streets, too. Some of us may have never experienced gun violence, but we can learn and listen to those who have and support them in the process. We can turn our thoughts and actions to communities in Boston, to our own communities, to ourselves. And then, finally, we can heal, and we can work to create the change we need.

Charlotte Lowell is a senior at Andover High School. She is one of the lead student organizers for the Boston March for Our Lives.