Parkland victims take control of gun control (2018)

Athena Swords, Editor

On Feb. 14, 2018, one high school changed forever. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and staff were the victims of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. 

A former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing 17 and injuring 17 others. This student was later identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.

Cruz had already been involved in more than one threat case with Parkland police officers and had even said online that he was planning on becoming a school shooter. 

Since there was a history with Cruz and threatening behaviors, lawmakers deemed the shooting to be caused by mental health issues and not the issue of gun control in the U.S.

The students from Stoneman Douglas immediately stood up for gun control and urged the U.S. to change their views on gun violence. They started an organization called “#NeverAgain” to end the gun violence seen all around the U.S.

They quickly organized a march in Washington DC to demand change in America. March for our Lives was a demonstration which according to their website’s petition, had three primary demands:

First, “Pass a law to ban the assault weapons frequently used to carry out mass shootings.”Second, “Stop the sale of high-capacity magazines, restricting the amount of ammunition.” Third, “Close loopholes in America’s background checks and implement laws that require background checks on every gun purchase, including those that occur online or at gun shows”

The march kicked off at noon on March 24, 2018. Singers including Ariana Grande and 

Miley Cyrus attended and sang for better laws.

In February, celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney showed their support for the survivors of Parkland by donating $500,000 to their march fund. 

Turnout at the event was estimated to be in the millions, having between one and two million attendees at both the Washington DC event and the hundreds of sister events around the U.S. This made March For Our Lives one of the largest protests in American history.

On April 20, the students also organized a national walkout on the 19th anniversary of Columbine High School’s mass shooting. 

With the influence and use of social media, the students were able to spread the word to millions of people across the U.S. about their events and future plans for “#NeverAgain.”

The organization is still going strong today with the students traveling across the U.S. to demand change and urge young adults to vote.


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