By Andrew Kim
It has been over a month since the mass shooting erupted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The shooting resulted in the deaths of 14 students and three staff members. Since then, the fight against the National Rifle Association continues.
In the wake of the Stoneman Douglas tragedy, a series of rallies and marches – formed from a number of Stoneman survivors and students including David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and Emma Gonzalez – have initiated across society, from the March for Our Lives to the Never Again MSD. The movements have opened pathways for students and activists, from survivors of Stoneman Douglas to former victims, to gather and speak out against gun violence. People are demanding that Congress regulate gun control and utilize stricter gun measures to prevent shootings from occur-ring in the future. These marches and rallies, which started on March 24, have expanded beyond 800 locations, extending across the U.S. with international support from Switzerland, Canada, Asia and Europe.
Since the initiation of the protests, students across the U.S. continue to speak up. Protests span from North Carolina to Nebraska to New York. Some groups discuss gun concerns and gun violence at schools, while others leave classes, pausing for a moments of silence to remember the lives lost to gun violence. On April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, students came together for the National School Walkout. The walkout was led by Lane Murdock, a student at Ridgefield High School, who started the organization to raise awareness about gun use and its effect on society.
Gun violence at schools and on campuses have affected the United States and the lives of many individuals. A database run by the Washington Post revealed that, since the 1999 Columbine High massacre, more than 322,000 students have been impacted by school shootings across more than 200 school campuses. Approximately 131 children, educators and school members have been killed. The year 2018 has witnessed 13 shootings thus far, which is the most seen since 1999.
Since the protests, state senators have pushed for a bill to raise the minimum age limit of purchasing firearms from 18 to 21. But, students and protestors await changes made from Congress and President Donald Trump to push for stricter gun reforms, all while the NRA continues to remain silent.