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Students Take the Lead in Advocating for Gun Control

Students at South Broward High School in Florida advocate for gun control during a walkout. (Screen shot via Twitter)

In the wake of Wednesday’s horrific mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 people dead, people around the country are calling for gun control. But it’s the voices of those who can’t yet vote that are making the most impact.

Students at South Broward High School—near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the shooting took place—broadcast their message Friday by staging a walkout. About 50 students exited their classrooms to take to the streets with homemade signs. Passing cars honked in solidarity.

“I want to end gun violence,” 16-year-old Sara Rodriguez told The Huffington Post. She held a sign bearing the message, “NRA is a terrorist organization.”

“[Lawmakers] don’t pay attention to our voice and we’re really tired of staying silent,” she said. “We are the future. We’re trying to make it but we can’t do it if they’re not listening.”

Survivors of Wednesday’s attack have been outspoken in the aftermath of the event, taking to Twitter to share their outrage and call on politicians to take action:

The students are also speaking to news outlets, explaining in concise terms why they are demanding gun control:

On Saturday morning, student Emma Gonzalez spoke at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.:

The call for change won’t be quieting down any time soon. A nationwide high school walkout, planned for April 20 (the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Columbine, Colo.), is gaining popularity.

“The majority of teenagers have no right to vote, leaving our voice unheard. The government does not hear or care how these tragedies affect our lives,” says a petition announcing the walkout.  “Walk out of school, wear orange and protest online and in your communities. Sign the petition if you pledge to do so. Nothing has changed since Columbine, let us start a movement that lets the government know the time for change is now.”

Emma Niles
Assistant Editor
Emma Niles, an assistant editor at Truthdig, graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a degree in political science. She has worked for the National Women’s Law Center and Ms. Magazine.…
Emma Niles

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