There is a cycle that begins in the aftermath of mass shootings. There are thoughts and prayers from politicians. The media analyzes the shooter’s reasons, often with a focus on mental illness as the cause. Those promoting gun restrictions and gun laws are told it’s too soon to discuss gun issues. And then, the story fades from the news cycle without any action taken to prevent future events.
On February 14th, there was a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL that resulted in the death of 17 people. It is not the first gun-related incident at a school in 2018, and it not the first school shooting of 2018 And, it’s uncertain if it will be the last.
Something about the aftermath is different this time, though. The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas are not folding into the news cycle. They are coming together to break the cycle. They are taking to social media and news outlets to make their voices heard. They are letting politicians know that they are the next generation of voters.
They have organized the March For Our Lives, which will take place on March 24th in Washington DC, with sister marches across the country.
There are systemic gun issues rooted into American society that may take years to unearth and work through. But, there is one thing that is clear: America’s youth are showing the nation that age does not dictate interest in social issues. For so long, teenagers have been depicted as unaware and uninterested. These students—and all others who advocate for hope and equality—are telling the nation that this cannot and will not happen again. These students have taken their traumatic experience and found a way to create a movement towards a hopeful future.
As they promise at the end of their mission statement on the March For Our Lives website, “Change is coming.”