comScore Parkland Students Lead the Way on Gun Control | The Mary Sue

Parkland Students Lead the Way on Gun Control, Showing Up Our Supposedly “Adult” Elected Officials

It would be nice if our government actually took care of its people the way it should. While citizens do what they can to fill in the gaps and help each other in many areas, gun violence is an issue that civilian action can’t tame without government intervention. So, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida are taking their civilian actions right to the government, hopefully shaming them into doing something concrete to change the hold guns have on this country.

Three Stoneman Douglas HS studentsAlex Wind, Cameron Kasky, and Sophie Whitneystarted a group called Never Again MSD a grassroots group of students devoted to working toward changes in our nation’s gun laws. First, they’re working toward taking their protest directly to Washington en masse on March 24th in the “March for Our Lives.”

According to the march mission statement, the goal of the protest is “to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”

Other students are taking action as well. Jaclyn Corin, Stoneman Douglas’ junior class president is mobilizing 100 students to go to their state government to lobby for stronger gun laws tomorrow and Wednesday.

And it isn’t just students in Parkland, Florida who are stepping up to take action. Connecticut high schooler Lane Murdock has been working on organizing a nationwide school walkout for April 20th, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine, CO shooting, which killed 12 high school students and a teacher. She’s encouraging students to walk out, wear orange, and protest in their communities or online. Murdock says, “Nothing has changed since Columbine, let us start a movement that lets the government know the time for change is now.”

It’s heartbreaking how true that is. Columbine was nearly 20 years ago…and this problem has only escalated with no action from our government.

Why is Murdock so involved, by the way? Well, in addition to being a caring human being, she also lives 20 minutes from Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of another tragic shooting in which twenty children and six adults lost their lives.

Murdock told NBC News that “We want this day to be a visual and vocal representation of the teen population’s desire to speak. At the end of the day, we’re the ones who are being hurt in our schools.”

Today, these high schoolers went to the White House and staged a lie-in protest to inspire a change in our gun laws.

It is absolutely shameful that teenagers have been pushed to take this much action because the adults we elected to pass our laws have been incapable of distancing themselves from the gun lobby, preferring to take their money to line their election coffers rather than prioritizing the lives and safety of the people they’re supposed to work for and protect.

These kids are an inspiration, but since they don’t have the power to vote, they need us to support them and not let them hang out there alone. They need our voices, and our votes, on their side.

(via The Daily Dot, image: screencap)

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