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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Buffalo chapter.

Three years later, the Parkland shooter has finally announced that he is pleading guilty.  Although it is currently unclear if he will be receiving the death penalty or a life sentence.  Despite his intention to plead guilty, he could still be sentenced to death.  The students, teachers, and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, including the seventeen people who died, the seventeen people who got injured, and the victims’ families, deserve justice.  This was the third deadliest school shooting in American history, and the murderer needs to be properly punished for his horrific actions.  His sentence will set the tone for future proceedings, so this trial is extremely important.

It is important that we do not mention this shooter by name.  If you have noticed, I have just been referring to him as “him” or “he” in this article.  The students from Stoneman Douglas have requested that media outlets not use his real name, for this is what he wants.  Shortly after the shooting, the students created an organization called March For Our Lives.  The members advocate for gun reform in hopes to create a safer America.  Here is an excerpt from their Instagram post regarding his intent to plead guilty:

“Today, March For Our Lives learned that the killer in the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida will plead guilty to all seventeen charges of murder.  We have no comment on him.  We will never dignify him by referring to his name, and we ask that the media do the same.  Instead, we should honor victims and survivors by telling their stories, not his.  What is clear is that gun violence is a systemic crisis and a uniquely American epidemic.  His deadly actions are part of a long string of gun violence that is ripping at the very heart of our nation, and kills people and destroys communities daily.  There is no place in this country where you can go without fear of being shot.”

@marchforourlives on Instagram

Let us listen to the students of Stoneman Douglas and honor their wishes.  We should be remembering the victims, not the murderer.  News outlets have identified this as the copycat effect.  Often shooters will shoot places up in an attempt to make it on national television, which is absolutely horrifying.  So let us stop giving these murderers what they want and focus our attention on the victims and gun reform.  How sad is it that people will see another school shooting on the news and have no reaction?  Americans have become so desensitized to shootings, we have become complacent.  It is time to stand up, hold politicians accountable, and make a change.  These tragedies have been ongoing for far too long, and it is time to put a stop to it.

If you would like to be a part of the change, go to https://marchforourlives.com.  You can donate and/or volunteer with their organization.  You can also go here to see exactly what their policy priorities are.  It is such an amazing organization and what makes it even better is that young high schoolers started it.  Just because you are young does not mean that you do not have a voice.  The fight for gun reform seems never ending, but through advocacy and volunteering, we can put a stop to this together.

Katie is the president and chapter correspondent of the Her Campus Buffalo chapter and a junior at the University at Buffalo studying psychology and political science. She loves to write about current events, politics, how to manage college life, and much more! She plans on using this platform to speak her mind and make a difference at UB.