#NeverAgain

I can’t count the number of times that Americans have called for gun reform in my lifetime. I’ve grown up with the Internet, I’ve seen the hashtags and viral posts that appear in the wake of mass shootings. Over time I’ve become more callous. Surely after Sand Hook, after Pulse, after Las Vegas, over and over and over again, we swear that there will be change. But nothing substantial ever happens. So how have a group of high school students done what a nation hasn’t been able to? They’ve created a movement that doesn’t look like it will be going away any time soon.
On February 14th, 17 people died in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. Days later, the faces of several teenage survivors were a common sight on many news networks. Cameron Kasky wrote an op-ed for CNN saying, “We can’t ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises. And so, I’m asking — no, demanding — we take action now.” Emma Gonzalez spoke at a rally, her rallying cry of “We call BS!” eliciting cheers from the crowd. Jaclyn Corin organized a trip to the Florida state capital, Tallahassee, where 100 students went to confront lawmakers and demand stricter gun laws. From their efforts the Never Again MSD movement was born. They are adamant that they aren’t calling for a gun ban, but rather they aim to regulate semi-automatic weapons and the mechanisms that can make these guns fully automatic.
While politicians are trying to tell them that this is the time to mourn, not to rehash an old debate, the students have decided that the time to talk about what happened and what can be done will be on March 24th, when they plan to march on Washington DC. The power this group of high school students have was given to them in the wake of tragedy, but they’re not letting their fellow classmates and teachers become a statistic. The march will be called March for Our Lives, and already many other marches are being organized across the country. The GoFundMe page set up by Cameron Kasky to help fund the march raised $1.8 million of its $2 million goal in three days.
The students of Stoneman Douglas High School spent the week that was supposed to be their President’s Day break organizing and leading a national movement. No one can say that they’re “just kids” anymore. They’ve survived things no one should ever have to experience, but from their grief a national movement was born.

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