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Since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, students of the school have refused to be complacent in the current conditions of the government. Demanding change and pushing for new legislation regarding gun control, mental health and school safety, there is no denying the mass mobilization of the current generation.
Just two days after the shooting, Emma Gonzalez, one of the many passionate teenage-activists from Parkland, gave a speech at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale which went viral across all social media platforms. While many were shocked by her ability to effectively articulate her points and speak with such urgency, this was just the beginning of the Never Again movement, led by Marjory Stoneman Douglas students.
On February 21, survivors came to Tallahassee where they met with many politicians and lobbyists such as Governor Rick Scott, state Attorney General Pam Bondi, state Senate President Joe Negron and state House Speaker Richard Corcoran, to provide solutions for existing flaws in legislation. While these discussions and meetings took place, thousands of people marched from the Westcott fountain at Florida State University to the capitol building.
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Upon reaching the Capitol Building, students, politicians and activists spoke, inspiring the crowd with messages of hope and promises of change. While participants of the march continued to rally, they entered the Capitol Building where they chanted, expressing the need for change and condemning politicians for refusing to comply.
After spending their entire day in meetings, speaking with lobbyists and calling attention to the media, students left the Capitol, and headed straight to a CNN town hall, regarding gun policy in America. There, students confronted Senator Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson, Representative Ted Deutch, County Sheriff Scott Israel and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch. Being unapologetically bold and confident, students asked pressing questions, not only impressing the nation, but also forcing politicians to expose their stances on gun control and the NRA.
Just a few days after the town hall, Florida Gov. Rick Scott shifted his position, and announced his willingness to change the age at which one can legally purchase a gun to twenty-one years of age, in addition to banning bump stocks.
In the midst of changing the dynamics of the political sphere and creating undeniable conversation, students managed to create a nationwide event which they named “March for Our Lives,” taking place on March 24th. On this day, people across the nation will march in support of stricter gun laws. Raising millions of dollars for the event, students advertise the march through means of social media, in addition to continually organizing new marches in different cities.
Locally, different restaurants, stores and businesses are donating their proceeds to the cause, supporting the community and its new platform. As students return to school with the support of fellow classmates, teachers and coping mechanisms such as service dogs, they continue to fight for a safer America.
Gillian is a Freshman at Florida State University, majoring in advertising. Consistently keeping up to date on pop culture, she loves to report about the latest happenings.