In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, came the usual flurry of thoughts and prayers—from politicians, naturally. But as the days have passed, there’s been a growing call for gun control from the kids who were in the school—the ones who hid under desks and in classrooms, or even filmed the horror on their smartphones.
Traumatized, angered and moved to action, these teenagers are speaking out, using social media to call politicians to action. And in just a matter of days, they’ve made themselves into a new crop of role models for our kids. They’re not celebrities or superheroes—but these real kids are totally admirable and are using their time in the spotlight to call for change.
It can be hard to find people to look up to in the age of Logan Paul or PewDiePie, but these kids are speaking truth to power and showing so much courage. Take Emma Gonzalez, who literally called bullshit on the politicians who are taking money from the NRA and who claim that guns are not at the root of shooting deaths.
In her speech at a rally last week in Fort Lauderdale, Gonzalez said: “Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS. They say tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call BS.”
New Sandy Hook PSA reports tomorrow's chilling news Then there’s the heroic 15-year-old Anthony Borges, who is recovering in a hospital bed in Florida after being shot in his back and legs as he locked the classroom door and blocked the doorway with his body, protecting 20 other students as the gunman continued to fire.
And there’s 17-year-old Cameron Kasky, another survivor who helped found the #NeverAgain movement as well as the March for Our Lives rally, which will take place on March 24 in Washington, DC. He wrote clearly and powerfully in an article on CNN.com: “We can’t ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises. And so, I’m asking—no, demanding—we take action now. Why? Because at the end of the day, the students at my school felt one shared experience—our politicians abandoned us by failing to keep guns out of schools. But this time, my classmates and I are going to hold them to account. This time we are going to pressure them to take action.”
These kids have set an example for all of us, and it’s worth sharing their moving words with your own kids. Hopefully enough lawmakers will listen to their voices so that other kids don’t need to follow in their footsteps.
Says Emma Gonzalez, to The Daily Beast: “I don’t even have a job. I don’t even have any money. Stopping this from happening again is my life now.”