On Feb. 14, 2018, there was a tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The tragedy resulted in the loss of 17 innocent lives, with 14 more injured, as well as emotionally scarring the staff, the students and the community at large. A few days after the incident, a group of courageous students who survived the shooting got together with the mindset that something like this can never happen again.
Students like Emma González, Sarah Chadwick, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Jacklyn Corin, and Delaney Tarr (just to name a few), have taken to different news outlets as well as social media to express their concern with how our country is dealing with a huge unanswered issue. An issue they feel could have prevented the massacre from happening if it had been addressed earlier, and that is the lack of gun control in our nation. Together they have started the viral movement called “Never Again MSD.” The student-run organization advocates for tighter regulations to prevent gun-violence and other mass shootings from happening. In a recent CNN Town Hall event, some of the survivors as well as some of the parents of the victims were able to talk face to face with some lawmakers like Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, Rep. Ted Deutch, and even NRA representative Dana Loesch, and speak passionately and unabashedly about America’s need for change in regard to gun laws.
These students refuse to not be taken seriously because of their age. They refuse to be intimated by people on social media who critique every move they make, even as so far as to call them “crisis actors.” And although they are back at school, their organization has not taken a hiatus. With hard work and tenacity, they have broadcasted their movement across the world, and even have started a nation-wide demonstration entitled “March For Our Lives,” that is occurring on March 24 in communities all over America. The main demonstration will be held at Washington D.C., where thousands upon thousands of people are planning to march down Pennsylvania Avenue. According to their mission statement on their website, they state that “March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now.
These signs of both courage and persistence have led to big donations from big-name celebrities and companies like Amal and George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Jeffery Katzenberg, as well as fashion designer brand Gucci– just to name a few. The students time and time again have stressed that they do not believe in the complete ban of firearms, but tighter regulations, especially those on automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Their whole purpose is to ensure that their schools, as well as their communities, are kept safe. Regardless of your political leaning, this movement was created to protect students and to guarantee them a safe learning environment. A right that every person in the world should have.
For more information about the March For Our Lives Movement, please check out their website.