With the Republican Party headed by Donald Trump adamantly refusing to take any action to curb the epidemic of gun violence infecting our country from coast to coast, it’s fallen to the American people to take up the challenge.
After the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida mass shooting last week during which seventeen people were killed and fifteen wounded when a young man entered the school and opened fire with an AR-15 style rifle, the surviving students are speaking out and advocating for gun reform.
They are planning a massive march on March 24 to demand gun control and challenge the NRA’s stranglehold on the Republican Party.
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Here’s the speech from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez at an anti-gun rally happening today in Fort Lauderdale https://t.co/CyfMnPDAvW // https://t.co/hgewZy4Cxf https://t.co/gssAmGczuH
— Joshua Chavers (@JoshuaChavers) February 17, 2018
David Hogg, the Florida school shooting survivor who called on lawmakers to "take some action" on guns yesterday, responds to Sen. Marco Rubio saying gun laws won't stop shootings: "I absolutely disagree … I say we implement whatever programs we can" https://t.co/hF26jAP9NA pic.twitter.com/L3gpViIFDa
— CNN (@CNN) February 16, 2018
Now, the students have enlisted the help of some powerful new allies. Hollywood superstar actor George Clooney and his international law and human rights lawyer spouse Amal Clooney have pledged to march with the Parkland Students as well as donate $500,000, USA Today reports.
“Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country,” George Clooney said in a statement.
The half a million donation will go to the March For Our Lives group, the organization planning the March 24th demonstration, and will help pay for the costs of the historic event. The Clooneys added that the donation is being made in the names of their two children.
It’s a moving gesture and it’s exactly the kind of thing every American with the means to do should be doing. We can no longer sit idly by while these horrific shootings massacre American children en masse.
Guns are the problem. There’s no discussion to be had, no debate to wage. All arguments to the contrary are made in bad faith. The other side knows that mass shootings happen because of easy access to guns, but they argue otherwise because their hobby is more important to them than the lives of everyday Americans.
Yes, there are other issues at play. We don’t spend enough as a country on mental health. We have a toxic masculinity problem wed with a white entitlement problem that turns vile young men into killers. The underlying cultural issues must be addressed. But guns are the lynchpin.
Were it not for easy accessibility to firearms, a young man wouldn’t be able to enter a store, purchase an AR-15 — that is to say, a gun designed to kill enemy combatants on a battlefield — take it to a school and murder children. Guns themselves don’t kill people, sure, but they make it much, much, easier. We need new laws and we need them now.