Teenage Activism for Gun Control
Teens in today's society have been making a push for more gun control. The activism surrounding gun control is being led by teenagers who have survived mass shootings. In the more recent past, there have been many mass shootings that have taken place inside schools. In 2018 there were 307 mass shootings in which five or more people were killed. The survivors of the Parkland Florida shooting of February 14, 2018, are making an effort to restrict the number of guns being released into the public and to check that the person buying is mentally capable of safely possessing a gun. Emma Gonzales, Alex Wind, Jaclyn Corin, and Cameron Kasky are some of the survivors who are turning this terrible event into a way to fight for these laws. They have started the #NeverAgain movement on Twitter which is one way they are reaching the public.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut. This was a horrific event that killed 20 children aging from 6 to 7. After this tragedy, 8th graders and high school students created a petition and asked the public, especially other schools, if they thought that there should be more restriction on gun ownership like the Parkland students fought for years later. The students who were in elementary school at the time of the shooting and are now in high school have formed the Junior Newtown Action Alliance. This group organizes voter registration and informs voters on the candidate’s views on gun control. Having background checks, limiting access to ammunition, and banning assault weapons were some of the laws that the groups want to be enforced. The group also created an Instagram account @humansofnewtownct. They post about their own stories as victims of gun violence. The biography on the site states, “One gun doesn't just impact those injured by it, but a community as a whole. We are the humans of Newtown, and these are our stories.” Students at Little Red, a school in Manhattan, created a petition that they hoped would make it to the white house. The petition mentioned banning assault rifles and invoking micro-stamping. Micro-stamping is the use of very small codes on every bullet of every gun. This would enable police to track down illegal guns wherever they are. These students went to the city hall where they spoke in front of 20 state legislators and had the opportunity to really try to make a difference. As many know, last year there was a walkout that some if not most schools participated in to fight for more gun control. This took place all over schools in America. This walkout was a protest against school shootings but was mainly a result of the Parkland shooting. Nikolas Cruz, the shooter at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killed 17 students so kids marched for 17 minutes. David Hogg is another survivor of the Parkland shooting. Fox News has typically criticized the teens fighting for this cause and David was ridiculed by Fox about not getting into college. He later got accepted to Harvard. Teenagers are some of the strongest activists who are making the biggest change, especially teens who have survived shootings inside their own schools. For example, Emma Gonzalez delivered a speech at the March for Our Lives rally in March 2018, and many more rallies concerning gun control in America. As more shootings happen students and the public at large are realizing that gun control is one of the biggest causes that needs to be fought for. Teens have the opportunity to change these laws and to change the course of history. They are putting all their effort into making America safer for students and all people.