How the Parkland shooting launched a new generation of activists

Parkland Shooting survivor and activist David Hogg, third from left, walks during the 50 Miles More walk against gun violence which will end with a protest at the Smith and Wesson Firearms factory on Aug. 23, 2018 in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Parkland Shooting survivor and activist David Hogg, third from left, walks during the 50 Miles More walk against gun violence which will end with a protest at the Smith and Wesson Firearms factory on Aug. 23, 2018 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (2018 Getty Images)

As we approach the third anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, perhaps it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the magnitude of the situation, as well as where it has led us from there.

On Feb. 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz, 19 at the time and a former student, walked onto the high school grounds with an AR-15 rifle and began shooting at students and teachers.

Since the deadly Valentine’s Day, when 17 students and staff were killed and more than a dozen were injured, teenagers have taken it upon themselves to step up for what they believe in, instead of waiting for adults or lawmakers to do it for them.

It’s led to a whole new younger generation of activists.

Following the Parkland shooting, survivors created March for Our Lives, hoping to unite young people with the goal of stricter gun regulations.

In March 2018, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill that raised the minimum age for buying rifles in the state from 18 to 21. It also imposed a three-day waiting period on all gun purchases.

Since then, students have given speeches to lawmakers, publicly spoken out against the NRA and catapulted themselves into the political world.

And with social media as a platform, young people everywhere have a broader opportunity to make their activism heard.


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