Elissa Kim Marymount HS 10th Grade
How many mass shootings have occurred in America? If you narrow this question down to only this year, there have been 30 mass shootings since a gunman opened fire in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018. That means in only 46 days of the new year, there has been a mass shooting almost every day since.
Mass shootings, especially those that have been broadcasted and discussed throughout the nation, have become so prevalent in many high school students’ lives. Seniors today were only 12 years old when Sandy Hook occurred. Since then, 1,625 mass shootings have occurred, including the most recent ones, Las Vegas and Parkland. Little had been done to change this issue until only a couple weeks ago when high schoolers became the new face for gun control.
People all over the nation ask why high schoolers have taken such an initiative to have gun control in America. One might even argue that high schoolers don’t know what they are talking about; they don’t even have the right to vote. However, teenagers had firsthand experience of mass shootings: they heard about Sandy Hook in elementary school, they discussed Las Vegas in high school, and 17 of them experienced it in Parkland. Today, high schoolers learn how to hide from a gunman, but they never learn about politicians making gun reform. With every mass shooting that occurred, politicians have done little to obtain gun control and have only sent thoughts and prayers. Thus, high schoolers became America’s little hope for gun control.
The Parkland survivors have become the role models of American Generation Z. Unable to vote themselves, they achieved different ways to express their opinion and spread awareness. They gained popularity through tweets against politicians, had social media campaigns and interviews, and debated with members of the National Rifle Association. As their Never Again Movement gains momentum, these students went from high schoolers to global advocates. They began the Never Again Movement, advocating for gun control, and planned the March for Our Lives, where these students and many more all over the world led a march to fight against gun violence. These Parkland survivors have inspired many more high schoolers, to advocate for their beliefs and not be intimidated by their own age or inability to vote. This powerful, inspiring movement only marks the beginning for what is to come for the future of America and gun control.
<Elissa Kim Marymount HS 10th Grade