The Parkland shooting, although one of the most tragic massacres in our history, ignited a heated discussion about gun control in the U.S. due to the loud voices of the teenagers affected by the shooting. Among those voices is Emma Gonzalez, co-founder of Never Again MSD, a gun control advocacy group hoping to end the high rate of school shootings in America with Parkland. She first gained the interest of the internet when her empowering speech went viral. Ever since, she has relentlessly called for change in the U.S, and become the face of a movement for gun control.
At 18, Gonzalez has inspired so many to join the movement for ending gun violence, gained the attention of many celebrities who have donated to the #MarchForOurLives campaign she and her friends have set up, and went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In less than a month, she has gained over 1.2 million Twitter followers, where she constantly exposes the gun violence America has and the corruption of political leaders and the NRA. Gonzalez and her friends, all survivors of the Parkland shooting, have forced multiple big companies to end affiliations with the NRA and pushed for change. Thanks to Gonzalez, a change is actually happening for once, and maybe America has a future where gun violence and school shootings won’t be an issue.
Gonzalez’s bravery and outspoken attitude have given teenagers a voice in the media and in the nation. She has spoken directly to state legislators and the NRA. People are finally listening to what she and her friends have to say, and letting them speak about the tragedy they endured. Gonzalez has so much passion, eloquence, and rightful rage that make her so admirable and iconic. People across the world have made artwork, donations, gifts, and movements because they were inspired by her. All 50 states have set up a #MarchForOurLives protest, and thousands of high schools across the country plan to join Gonzalez and the other survivors in a National Walkout on April 20, to remember all the school shootings in America on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
In addition to being so inspiring, Gonzalez is also humble. In an interview with Buzzfeed, she said, “On a larger scale though, I’m a little worried that some people will forget why I achieved such notoriety or get distracted by who I am as a person, and stop listening as closely to the words we as a whole are saying,” she said.
“And [I] did a lot of interviews, but only a couple of them were [on camera] interviews, in comparison to the other stuff. And I’m big on Twitter, but not a lot of people use Twitter,” she continued.
Gonzalez wants to band the country together against gun violence, and lead the movement. Her Twitter account, @Emma4Change, shows the support of this movement, as she retweets the voices of her friends and shows the world that the teenagers know how to use social media as a weapon against adults who say they can’t accomplish anything.
Gonzalez is just a teen, and making such a big difference in America. Her presence fails to be ignored, and we can only wait to see what power she will hold in the future.