Freedom Action

High School Students Lose Tolerance for Gun Violence and Take Action

Emma Gonzales
Written by JoAnn Chateau

One week after the Broward County, FL school massacre, students are taking and scheduling actions to demand gun control reform…

One week ago, on February 14, a horrible mass shooting took place at Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. The massacre took 17 lives in three minutes. This latest mass killing seems to have finally exhausted America’s tolerance for gun violence. At least, it has exhausted the tolerance of high school students, and they are taking action!

Naturally, mature adults eagerly jump in to provide meaningful support, but this is why we need youth in the political arena: when they figure out something is b*llsh*t, they believe they can do something about it.

And so they do.

The Emma Gonzalez Speech

Never again. Stoneman Douglas High student Emma Gonzalez made an impassioned speech about students’ determination to end gun violence.

We are going to be the last mass shooting.

~ Emma Gonzalez

Her speech went viral. It is truly iconic. Watch it in full, below.

We Call “BS!”

Emma Gonzalez, a student at the Parkland, Florida high school where 17 people were left dead after a mass shooting, calls out President Trump and the NRA by name at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

~ CNN

March for Our Lives

Not one more. The students immediately organized a protest in Washington D.C. March for Our Lives is scheduled for March 24. Details will follow.

The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.  No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.

~ March for Our Lives

Republican Donor Draws the Line

No more. That is, no more money. Republican donors are now demanding sensible gun control measures.

A prominent Republican political donor demanded on Saturday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style firearms to civilians.

Al Hoffman Jr., a Florida-based real estate developer who was a leading fund-raiser for George W. Bush’s campaigns, said he would seek to marshal support among other Republican political donors for a renewed assault weapons ban.

~ Alexander Burns

READ MORE: Prominent Republican Donor Issues Ultimatum on Assault Weapons | The New York Times

Students Go to Florida Legislators for Assault Weapon Ban

Enough. By Tuesday and Wednesday, Stoneman Douglas High School students had trekked to the Florida state capitol, Tallahassee, in order to lobby elected lawmakers for a ban on assault weapons. The state legislature refused to bring the issue to debate.

House Republicans on Tuesday decisively blocked a move by Democrats to debate a ban on assault weapons in Florida, six days after a massacre that took 17 lives at a Broward County high school…

Republicans voted it down, 71 to 36. Several survivors of the massacre in Parkland, watching from the visitors’ gallery, were overcome with emotion, and the action set off a firestorm of controversy on social media…

The emotional flare-up at the Capitol came on a day when more than a hundred students from the school were headed to Tallahassee by bus to meet with Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and legislative leaders…

On Wednesday, hundreds of people are expected to rally on the steps of the Old Capitol in support of additional gun restrictions in Florida…

~ Elizabeth Koh and Steve Bousquet

READ MORE: Florida House Rejects Considering Ban on Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines | Tampa Bay Times

Prediction: Republican loyalty to the NRA and weapons manufacturers will falter. The demand for gun control is reaching critical mass.

Trump Orders Bump Stock Ban

Bump stocks are a gun accessory that enable semiautomatic rifles to fire faster. President Trump is now prepared to ban them.

Donald Trump has ordered the justice department to draw up regulations to ban “bump stocks” and other devices that enable semi-automatic firearms to fire at close to the rate of a machine gun…

But the announcement, and statements from the White House supporting legislation to enforce existing background check laws, fall far short of demands from students who survived the latest school massacre and then swiftly launched a movement calling for fresh gun control measures.

~ David Smith and Lois Beckett

READ MORE: Trump Orders ‘Bump Stock’ Ban but Indicates No Stronger Action on Gun Control | The Guardian

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) observes that politicians are finally becoming afraid of the political consequences for doing nothing on gun control.

#NeverAgain Rally outside the capitol in Tallahassee, FL.

Today, students have gathered for a #NeverAgain Rally outside the Florida capitol.

Going Forward

There’s nothing like personal experience to drive a need deep. Our young massacre survivors are going to win gun control.

But before they manage to wrest sensible, effective, comprehensive gun control laws from politicians, they are going to realize a shocking, ugly truth: There is an element within American society that doesn’t care if they live or die — and somehow, it gained the upper hand.

There’s nothing like personal experience… Our well-enlightened students are going to go on to fix that, too.


Freedom Actions to Fix Gun Control

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.

19 Comments

  • I hate to sound cynical, but I don’t even think Trump is stupid enough to think his “arm and train the teachers” idea will work. First of all, it won’t even be a deterrent except to someone who is thinking clearly…and if they are thinking clearly, they are not going to kill innocent people anyway. His real motive, I’m afraid, is to tie this to some piece of sensible gun legislation such as raising the age to 21 and then when the package gets voted down, blame the democrats for “doing nothing” about gun control. He’ll say: “See? We had a great wonderful way to prevent more needless deaths, but the liberals voted it down.” It’s basically the same playbook as for DACA.

    • I think you’re both cynical and correct, John. :-)

      There is no hope for sensible policies or real solutions to problems until American politicians wean themselves from corporate and billionaire donors. I think these students fully understand the big picture, will force real gun control legislation, and will knowingly and intentionally help save democracy as they conquer the scourge of gun violence in our nation.

  • JoAnn:

    As ex teachers in Broward County, Fl., my wife will be willing to engage inactivist participation on our roadtrip for the next three months.
    I hope your upcoming blogs will reveal some places and times that might engender our interest.

    • James, that is a fantastic way to really see and participate in our beautiful, diverse nation. What will be your route, destination, etc? I hope you’ll be writing a book about activism tourism. (No pressure, of course!) :-)

  • They’ve become the adults in the room. Now we are going to see who has the louder voice, students or NRA money. I suspect what we will see is a bone or two given up for appeasement to the students (like bump stocks and other hollow regulations) while the meat market still is in possession of the Murder Industrial Complex.

    That’s how the oligarch works.

    • Good point. They are adults now. You may be right about the oligarch, but I hope the student-adults will persist for as long as it takes, and inspire everyone to keep up the fight.

  • Hopefully these kids won’t stop until something is done. They deserve all of our support. Any politician who demeans or ignores them should be run out of office.