Parkland Students And The Never Again Msd Movement
On 14th February 2018, an ex-student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland Florida, murdered 17 students at his former High School. The shooting was amongst the USA’s 10 deadliest shootings over the past 50 year. After previous shootings, the public would discuss gun violence for a brief period and then move on. This time, the people are fighting against gun-violence. A group of Parkland survivors has launched the “Never Another MSD” campaign, which aims at changing gun control laws.
TIME’s 100 Most Influential Persons of 2018 included Cameron Kasky and Jaclyn Coin as the leaders and originators of this movement. Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg and Alex Wind were also on that list. They knew immediately after the incident that it was possible to prevent this shooting if better gun laws had been in place. The students agreed that now was not the time to “think and pray”, but rather it was time for change. Emma Gonzalez, who spoke at a protest against gun violence just a couple of days after that shooting and addressed many aspects of the situation, was among the students’ first actions. Students agree that the gun violence in America should be stopped. The students want to amend the law to accomplish this. Gonzales said during her speech, “Our firearms have advanced at an incredible rate since our Founding Fathers. Since they added the Second Amendment into the Constitution. Our laws haven’t changed, but the guns have. All of these students agree that the USA makes it too easy for people to buy firearms.
The only time a universal background checks is required is when a gun is purchased from a licensed firearms dealer. But even those checks are not 100% accurate. Buyers are required to complete a form that asks questions about drug use and criminal history. But anyone can lie. The FBI is then contacted in order to check the NICS records (National Instant Criminal Background Check System), but this search has its flaws. States do not have to submit their mental health or criminal records into NICS. The background check must also be completed within 72 hours. In the event that this doesn’t happen, then the purchaser can still purchase the gun. These flaws all add up to an ineffective background check that is costing lives. Students want background checks to be mandatory and less flawed. The students want more thorough background checks so that dangerous individuals cannot own lethal weapons. The students want to ban some weapons. The students want to ban some weapons.
Students in Florida aren’t stopping there. A bill to ban bump stocks (FindLaw 2018) has been passed. The student activists are calling on people to support politicians who promote gun control. They also organised marches across the USA, called March For Our Lives. People sympathise and like the students, and they are very appealing to young people. The students have a great deal of power and influence because people are sympathetic to them. People are more likely listen to their words, giving the movement early power. After the media ceased to cover the events surrounding the shooting, the power of the movement was maintained by the presence and support of celebrities or other important figures, such as Barack Obama or Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga or George Clooney or Paul McCartney. These people are all influential, mostly because they have large social media followings. The issue was brought to the forefront and more people joined the Never Again MSD Movement.
Some of the supporters can vote in favor of politicians who are pro-gun control laws. Teenagers, who are a large part of the movement but cannot vote, can influence adults to vote for them, and then vote themselves once they become old enough. Parkland’s students are able to have a large influence over a number of people. Many people support the Never Again MSD campaign, but many others are against it. Laura Ingraham from FOX and Alex Jones who hosts his own show on radio “The Alex Jones’ Show” are two examples. The National Rifle Organisation is a large non-governmental organization that supports gun dealers, gun ownership, and the Never Again MSD Movement.
Some people and organizations claim that the problem is not one of guns, but rather a problem with mental health, and that gun ownership is necessary to protect yourself. Emma Gonzales in her address said it best: “They believe that a person with a handgun can stop an individual with a firearm. We call BS. They say that guns and knives are the same. This is nonsense. ” (CNN 2018a) Her speech was memorable and powerful, as she rebutted the opposition’s claims with such force. This gave her movement even more power. Laura Ingraham wrote a personal tweet to David Hogg, a student. She wrote that David Hogg had been rejected by all four colleges where he applied, and then complained about it. (Dinged UCLA by a grade of 4. 1 GPA. . . The acceptance rate is a factor that makes the outcome of any project predictable. )” (Ingraham, 2018). Hogg wasn’t put down, instead he called for a show boycott, and many advertisers removed their advertisements. Ingraham apologized in a tweet. Hogg, however, said that she did not deserve her apology. He said that it was wrong to use the tweet to divert people away from the main issue. CNN,2018b).Some people started conspiracy theories against David Hogg. They said that he had not been present during the shooting. Or, they claimed he played a role. But, when he is asked, David Hogg dismisses such claims, and instead focuses on the issue of gun-violence. He is not distracted or caught up in the arguments of his opponents. All of these examples demonstrate that these students have excellent public speaking and debate skills, which has helped them to maintain the power of their movement, despite opposition.
This group and the student movement they’ve created has a great deal of power. The students started their movement just after the school shooting and took advantage of the opportunity to speak out against gun violence. Their strong public speaking and debating skills kept the movement going. In addition, the many endorsements of well-known figures helped spread their message. They are now influencing people to vote for politicians who support gun control, right before the Midterm Elections. Never Again MSD may be able to accomplish great things in this way. For example, a more rigorous and universal background check system.