Students Lead National Movement to End Gun Violence


Joe Raedle

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – FEBRUARY 17: People join together after a school shooting that killed 17 to protest against guns on the steps of the Broward County Federal courthouse on February 17, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Earlier this week former student Nikolas Cruz opened fire with a AR15 rifle at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killing 17 people. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Gina Ngo, Staff

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The devastating gun shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, propelled its students to instigate a movement titled as ‘Never Again.’  The leadership and courage of these illuminary students, who have suffered from the fear of losing their lives at school and the bereavement of their fellow classmates, led to a cascade of activism amongst students from all over the nation.  Walkouts, protests, and marches were organized to convey the demand for terminating gun violence.


On Wednesday, March 14, one month after the shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, many schools in the nation, including Haverford, participated in a student-led walkout to pay homage to the 17 victims who lost their lives and to protest against gun violence.  Students at Haverford marched around the track for 17 minutes to pay tribute to the victims, after which they sat around together on the turf in a moment of silence before several speeches were delivered.


The names of the 14 students and three faculty victims of the school shooting were read aloud and the students who delivered speeches emphasized that our generation has the power to change the future for the better and that students must raise their voices to ensure that they are heard.  Many students held their signs up high as they marched; some of which stated, “Protect kids, not guns,” “Together we are strong,” “We want education without fear of annihilation,” and “Never Again”. Rallies continued throughout the week in various states and many students advocated for the March For Our Lives, which would take place in less than two weeks.  


On Saturday, March 24, the March For Our Lives took place in Washington D.C. with over 850,000 people in attendance while many other states held local marches to support the national movement against gun violence.  The mission of the march was to encourage people to stand in solidarity on the safety of schools and to take action rather than wait for politicians to do so. The March For Our Lives was organized by student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, including Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, and Jackie Corin.  These students and many more aimed to take initiative in spite of authoritative figures insisting that they are only kids with neither power nor influence in the political happenings of the nation. Students around the country persisted and proved authoritative figures wrong, as they made efforts to unite people and put an end to the terrible plague of mass shootings.   


During the march, a powerful statement was made by senior Emma Gonzalez, who asserted, “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job”.  Her fellow schoolmate Delaney Tarr also made a speech with an influential affirmation, “Today, and every day, we will continue to fight for those things that are right.  We will continue to fight for common sense. We will continue to fight for our lives. We will continue to fight for our dead friends. There will be no faltering, no pauses in our cause.”  


This momentous event was considered by many to be a success and will leave an everlasting mark in the U.S.  In the last month, students in the U.S. have united to raise their voices together as they continue to fight for gun control and peace in the nation.  They have also manifested that age has no hindrance to one’s competence and influence to change the country for the better. If there is anything to take from the March For Our Lives and other numerous efforts of this cause, it is that individuals who seek change and amelioration of their country, should take action themselves and inspire others to do the same.    


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