Never Again: Parkland Florida Shooting & Student Gun Debate

Following Florida’s deadliest school shooting on February 14 where 14 classmates and 3 staff members were killed in Parkland, FL, students are determined to make sure that something like this never happens again. High-school survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting have rallied together and taken a seven-hour bus ride to Tallahassee, FL to plead for stricter gun-control measures at the State Capitol. A group of students decided shortly after the shooting to start the Never Again campaign to ensure that legislators realize the real problem at hand: gun-control. The students are very keen in making sure that their activism for change doesn’t overshadow the deaths of the ones who unnecessarily lost their lives. Before boarding the buses up to Tallahassee, most students were seen attending a funeral of a classmate killed in the shooting.

                                    Photos taken by Jordan Glover, a FSU student who was present at the rally in Tallahassee, FL

The activist movement aims to raise the legal age to buy firearms in Florida from 18 to 21 years old, require that background checks are run for gun buyers, and ban assault weapons. On the bus ride up to Tallahassee, the students discovered that the Florida House of Representatives had refused to take up a bill banning assault weapons. Despite this disappointing news, the students were pleased to hear that George Clooney, Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, and Steven Spielberg have decided to donate 1.5 million dollars towards the March for Our Lives march scheduled to take place in Washington D.C on March 24th, 2018. According to the Never Again campaign mission statement, the march has been organized to demand that “a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address...gun issues." In addition to the funding, the survivors learned that they would be meeting with Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Governor Rick Scott, along with 73 other elected officials, in Tallahassee. The president has shown in his Twitter and in a White House statement released on February 21 that he strongly believes that 20-40% of teachers should be armed to ensure that if a shooting occurs on a school campus that they would be able to stop the shooter before the police would arrive. 

It is easy to feel helpless in shootings like these, but as a citizen you can influence your elected officials to advocate for your beliefs. By calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, you can connect with your local representative in the House or Senate to voice to them the need for stricter gun-control measures. You can also take part in groups like Everytown for Gun Safety, whose members and supporters work towards ending gun violence by advocating for stricter regulations, donating, or simply becoming educated on issues pertaining to gun control.