Student Outcry Results in New Gun Laws in Florida

It has been nearly three weeks since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting took place in Parkland, Florida. This was the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. The trend of violence and mass shooting in the US has gone without response for years. The victims of the Sandy Hook shooting were too young to protest, but Parkland victims are taking full advantage of their platform and are using their voices to speak out and demand greater limitations on gun laws.

It seems to have worked, at least to some extent.

On March 5th, the Florida State Senate passed a bill that would raise the age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21, require a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases, and ban the sale or possession of bump stocks, which can make it easier for a semi-automatic weapon to function like an automatic rifle.

The new generation of students turned activists has remarkably utilized its platform to challenge senators and congressional representatives on live television and has gone viral in videos containing pleas to prevent another slaughter.

"I’m sick and tired of thoughts and prayers… thoughts and prayers don’t protect us from bullets and shrapnel,” one survivor said.

The student-led movement successfully reignited the debate for gun control. The question is whether the lives lost in Parkland, Florida will have been lost in vain. 

On February 14, 2018, 19-year old former student Nikolas Cruz, armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, murdered 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.