Written by Nathasha De Alwis
23 Feb, 2018 | 9:29 am
Terror stuck at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 19 as a 19 year-old youth opened fire.
Florida State Police stated that the teenager is accused of killing 17 people.
From the school’s survivors, and other students across the United States, movements have sprung up in the aftermath rejecting what has been dubbed the “New Formal” for their generation.
Thousands of teenagers, including many still too young to vote, have become grassroots activists. Social media has become a tool for their ideas and campaigns to spread.
Their calls for gun control are not different to those in the aftermath of other tragedies, but the maturity and voracity of the students publicly voicing their demands has led many on social media to say this time feels different.
Parkland survivor Alex Wind and four of his friends founded the Never Again campaign in the immediate aftermath.
Now over a dozen of them are tirelessly campaigning and making the rounds on US cable news networks to share their story, their message.
Wind was forced to huddle in darkness with 60 other students for over an hour and a half as shots ran out throughout their school on Valentine’s Day (February 14).
It was born out of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the second-deadliest school shooting in US history.
For the first time, articulate student survivors of the attack have broken into the much-debated topic of gun control.
Their first organised protest aimed at putting pressure on legislators to ban assault-style rifles, similar to the semi-automatic AR-15 model police say was used by the alleged gunman, Nikolas Cruz.
Several students took centre stage at an emotionally charged rally in Fort Lauderdale, with high school student Emma Gonzalez attacking President Trump and other politicians for accepting political donations from the National Rifle Association.
The movement has drawn support from celebrities such as George and Amal Clooney, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, who have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund a planned march on gun control in Washington on 24 March.
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