When a 19-year-old gunman brought an AR-15 to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, very few in the country were genuinely shocked that yet another mass shooting had happened. The usual routine started to play out. As news of the number of deaths and details about the suspected shooter slowly trickled out, politicians who received sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars from NRA began sending out their thoughts and prayers. But this time, something different happened.
The students from Stoneman Douglas decided they were going to fight to make sure that this doesn't happen at another high school. They took to social media and news networks with thoughtful calls to action and powerful accounts of their hope for a future in which we can pass gun control regulations.
Even though the state of Florida voted down a proposed ban on assault rifle just days after 17 people died at the hands of an assault rifle, and despite disgusting conspiracy theories challenging the integrity of what happened at Douglas Stoneman, students have held fast and continued their work to end gun violence.
They will certainly have a long and hard road in front of them as they try to change not just laws but deeply entrenched beliefs and customs regarding guns in America. With that said, they can be sure of one thing: there’s a growing majority behind them. In the past few days, celebrities have taken to social media to voice their support for the work these teenagers are doing. Some, like Oprah, Steven Spielberg, and George and Amal Clooney, have donated a combined $1.5 million dollars to March For Our Lives, a gun-protest march that the Parkland students have organized. Others are providing much-needed moral support, but most agree that these teens have become our most courageous leaders.