Last Wednesday on the Hallmark holiday of Valentine’s Day, a disturbed young man shot 17 people at his former high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This mass shooting was one of the deadliest to occur in a school. “Who is this man?”, people wonder. “Was he mentally ill?” is another frequently asked question. “Why did he do this?” could be deemed the most important one. Yet, the answer is simple. Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students, teachers, and high school administrators because he could. He had access to semi-automatic assault rifles–war guns–at his fingertips. No extensive background checks, training classes, permits, waiting periods, fees, and restrictions on how many guns one can purchase at once are mandated when one purchases a gun. These incredibly lenient gun laws exist because the NRA lobbies for them aggressively. The NRA spent $30.3 million dollars on the Trump campaign so they could buy his veto against any form of action combating this exclusively American issue. On average, there is more than one mass shooting PER day in America when a mass shooting is defined as 4+ victims.
The recent mass shooting, however, is different because the students who suffered are speaking out. Emma Gonzalez, a senior at MSDHS, spoke in a press conference calling out everyone responsible for this tragedy–the NRA, the GOP (who is funded by the NRA), and Donald Trump. Emma and the audience shouted “We call BS” to every argument against gun control. Emma and the students took to twitter, Facebook, and the news to share their side of the story and call a plan into action. ‘March for our lives’ is occurring on March 24 and is a movement started by students, the kids and families affected by mass shootings, to end the epidemic that is gun violence in America. Through using the media, the students were able to say we don’t care about your thoughts and prayers because our lives matter more than your guns.