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The Young Leaders of the Gun Control Revolution

3%2F24%2F18%2C++Washington%2C+D.C.+%0A%0ADemonstrators+fill+Pennsylvania+Avenue+in+preparation+for+the+March+for+Our+Lives+Rally+in+Washington%2C+D.C.+on+March+24%2C+2018.+%0A%0AGabriella+Demczuk+%2F+TIME
3/24/18,  Washington, D.C. 

Demonstrators fill Pennsylvania Avenue in preparation for the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2018. 

Gabriella Demczuk / TIME

3/24/18, Washington, D.C. Demonstrators fill Pennsylvania Avenue in preparation for the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2018. Gabriella Demczuk / TIME

Gabriella Demczuk

Gabriella Demczuk

3/24/18, Washington, D.C. Demonstrators fill Pennsylvania Avenue in preparation for the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2018. Gabriella Demczuk / TIME

Emily Corwin, Staff Writer

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 Over a month has passed since the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and still very little has been done about gun restrictions.  Now, Parkland survivors and others nationwide have come together as advocates for a change in the safety and security of the nation. The March For Our Lives rally in Parkland this past Saturday was to expect around 20,000 people–from Marjory Stoneman Douglas students to families to 

Naomi Wadler speaking at the March For Our Lives Rally

#NeverAgain activists–to push for tighter gun restrictions.  However, according to the Washington Post, around 800,000 people were present at the march in Washington, D.C., making this the largest single-day protest in the history of the nation’s capital.

The rallies included appearances from celebrities, as well as powerful speeches from the Parkland survivors and other gun control activists.  Among the speakers was 11-year-old Naomi Wadler from Alexandria, Virginia, who addressed gun violence against African-American women.

 “I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics, instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential,” Wadler said at the rally in D.C.  

Emma Gonzalez, one of the shooting survivors who is leading the revolution against control, addressed the victims of the shooting before going silent for four minutes, something that MSNBC analyst David Corn called the “loudest silence in the history of US social protest.”

David Hogg at the March For Our Lives Rally

Since the shooting, five Marjory Stoneman Douglas students–Jaclyn Corin, David Hogg, Alex Wind, Cameron Kasky, and Emma Gonzalez–have become the figureheads of the new gun control revolution, even making their way onto the newest cover of TIME with “ENOUGH” displayed powerfully displayed in front of them.  Florida governor Rick Scott has since signed a bill that raised the age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21–a small change, but a change nonetheless.

This change is just one of many that have happened after the Valentine’s Day massacre; most mass shootings that have occurred recently in the US eventually died out on the news after a week or so, with trending hashtags and “thoughts and prayers” circulating in the media.  However, the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting have pushed for a change by confronting the NRA and state senators, delivering powerful speeches, and organizing movements and protests like the March For Our Lives Rally.

It is amazing to see such a powerful revolution led by a generation that is typically criticized for being lazy, self-centered, and addicted to their cell phones.  However, Corin believes this connection to technology and social media is the #NeverAgain movement’s secret weapon. “People always say, ‘Get off your phones,’ but social media is our weapon.  Without it, the movement wouldn’t have spread this fast.”

Corin, Hogg, Wind, Kasky, and Gonzalez have stepped up as the torchbearers for the gun control revolution; the #NeverAgain revolt has its own headquarters where the teens schedule conferences, film videos, and plan for future rallies.  Their goal–other than to push for tighter gun restrictions–is to create a youth political movement that focuses on issues that will directly affect younger generations, be it gun control, child abuse, or LGBT rights. “The world failed us and we’re here to make a new one that’s going to be easier on the next generation,” Kasky argues.  “if you’re against that, then get out.”

 

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The Young Leaders of the Gun Control Revolution