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"Meet the 6 impressive teenagers who are leading a massive gun-control movement after the Parkland massacre" by Eliza Relman (2018)

Author: Eliza Relman

Relman, Eliza. “Meet the 6 Impressive Teenagers Who Are Leading a Massive Gun-Control Movement after the Parkland Massacre.” Business Insider, Accessed 15 May 2023.

Students and young people leading the March for Our Lives rally on Saturday in Washington, DC.
  • Young people galvanized by the massacre on Valentine’s Day at a high school in Parkland, Florida, are leading a movement against gun violence.
  • Here are some of the most prominent faces of the #NeverAgain movement.

A group of students — including some who survived the shooting last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida — led the charge in organizing the March for Our Lives, an anti-gun-violence event in Washington, DC, on Saturday emulated in hundreds of cities and towns across the country and around the globe.

They were joined on stage by many others who’ve been touched by gun violence, including young people of color whose communities have been disproportionately affected.

In the weeks since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead, some of the young activists have become targets for right-wing conspiracy theories and viciously criticized online by people, including lawmakers, who disagree with their positions on gun regulation.

Meet some of the young people leading the movement against gun violence, dubbed #NeverAgain.

Emma Gonzalez, 18: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”

emma gonzalez

Emma Gonzalez, a student and shooting survivor from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, cries as she addresses the conclusion of the “March for Our Lives” event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018.

Emma Gonzalez, an 18-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has become one of the most prominent faces of the student-led anti-gun-violence movement.

After the Valentine’s Day massacre, Gonzalez and other student survivors began working to contact politicians, advocate legislative change, and organize the march in Washington.

“The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us,” Gonzalez said on Saturday before several minutes of silence. “And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call BS.”

Jaclyn Corin, 17: “What if leading politicians valued children’s lives over dollars?”

Jaclyn Corin

Jaclyn Corin, the 17-year-old junior-class president of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has said that her way of coping with the tragedy is to distract herself “with work and helping people.”

On Saturday, she affirmed the Parkland students’ commitment to shedding light on the daily gun violence that disproportionately affects communities of color but doesn’t receive as much attention as mass shootings.

“We recognize that Parkland received more attention because of its affluence,” Corin said during her speech in Washington. “But we share this stage today and forever with those communities who have always stared down the barrel of a gun.”

After President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that despite all the “Fake News, the US “is doing great!” Corin responded: “96 deaths by firearm every day is not what I call great.”

David Hogg, 17: “First-time voters show up 18% of the time in midterm elections. Not anymore.”

David Hogg

David Hogg, a 17-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has also become a national face of the anti-gun-violence movement, giving multiple interviews to national news outlets and speaking at several events in the wake of the shooting.

On Saturday, Hogg encouraged the crowd to take action and vote.

“We’re going to make sure the best people get in our elections to run not as politicians but as Americans,” he said. “Because this — this is not cutting it.”

Some of Trump’s most fervent supporters, gun-rights activists, and alt-right bots have criticized Hogg and other Parkland survivors online. High-profile members of conservative media who disagree with Hogg’s support for gun control have called him an “extremist” and a “useful idiot.”

Naomi Wadler, 11: “People have said that I am some tool of some nameless adult. It’s not true.”

Naomi Wadler

Naomi Wadler, the youngest speaker at Saturday’s march in Washington, provoked an enormous reaction from the crowd, celebrities, and politicians.

The 11-year-old fifth-grader from Virginia who led a walkout at her school said she was at the march to “represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper.”

“I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential,” Wadler said, adding that she’d be a voter in “seven short years.”

“My friends and I might still be 11, and we might still be in elementary school, but we know — we know life isn’t equal for everyone, and we know what is right and wrong,” she said to thunderous applause.

—Tessa Thompson (@TessaThompson_x) March 24, 2018

Cameron Kasky, 17: “Welcome to the revolution.”

Cameron Kasky

Cameron Kasky, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who’s involved in theater, began speaking out shortly after the shooting, which he and his brother survived.

“Can’t sleep,” Kasky wrote in a Facebook post. “Thinking about so many things. So angry that I’m not scared or nervous anymore … I’m just angry.”

Kasky began speaking with national news outlets and joined the group of students leading the public response to the shooting.

“Welcome to the revolution,” Kasky said to cheers on Saturday.

Edna Chavez, 17: “I learned to duck from bullets before I learned to read.”

Edna Chavez

Edna Chavez, a 17-year-old from South Los Angeles, spoke at the rally on Saturday about her brother, Ricardo, who was in high school when he was shot and killed.

Chavez said the kind of gun violence that took her brother’s life was so “normal” in her neighborhood that she “learned to duck from bullets before I learned how to read.”

“Ricardo was his name,” Chavez said. “I lost more than my brother that day. I lost my hero.”

DMU Timestamp: May 12, 2023 14:09

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