Since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it has been a long and hard month coming, but in the recent days there has been some big developments in the gun-violence conversation. In the wake of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, the March For Our Lives was launched to say “enough is enough” with gun-violence and mass school shootings. The march took place Saturday, March 24, in Washington D.C, though there were countless more across the country that took place as well. In this massive march, more than two million Americans attended the event, students and adults alike. It was a direct reflection of the passionate people behind the movement and how serious American Citizens are about reforming gun laws.
This nationwide march was organized by senior Emma González and junior Cameron Kasky who are survivors of the Florida school shooting, along with hundreds of other students across the nation. This helped further their Never Again movement which is a response to the shooting. With the help of supporters and sponsors like Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, and many other celebrities, the students were able to organize the march, but it was so much more than the funds that caused this march to be this powerful.
In an article from The New Yorker, The students got the chance to ask two school psychologists, Gayle Morris and Joanne Zinski, what they believed made this march so different than those in the past. They stated “It’s these Parkland students,” Zinski said. “We are here to support them. It took a group that was willing to push back the grief to action. For some reason, they’ve sparked something—for America, and I know in us.” Morris also agreed with this statement, saying, “Sandy Hook, those parents, that community, they did wonderful things, but they couldn’t get the momentum. Teenagers are so powerful.”
The Parkland students and many others are calling for change in the nation. With this march they hope to cause a change in legislation. In their mission statement, the march organizers write: School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be “learning, playing, and growing.” The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. They seek to put an end to the tragedy and the loss that comes with gun-violence. They strive to make a lasting change in the nation and that affects more than just those few high school students or those who are impacted by gun-violence, but it affects all of us. The outrage and outcry of the people shows that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. The march challenges not only the accessibility of guns, but I dare say our very perception of their presence and how that plays a role in America. Gun violence is something that won’t change unless we are willing to change it, and the students of Marjory are doing just that. They are taking their outrage, their hurt and their emptiness after the loss and filling it with a cry that is being heard across the country and across communities. I have to be honest; there is in fact something different with the energy behind this movement. There is such a force behind this movement that these students just might push through and reach those in power. They just might shift the nation in a new direction forever.
Sources: The New Yorker, the cut.com