The teenage survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting are having their voices amplified at a whole new level now. Harvard University has invited the impacted students to speak at an event called “#NEVERAGAIN: How Parkland Students are Changing the Conversation on Guns.”
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Emma Gonzales, David Hogg, and Cameron Kasky, among others, will be present at the event to speak on their experience as gun control advocates in the wake of the tragedy.
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The students survived an attack on their high school, where a 19 year-old gunman opened fire using an AR-15 rifle, killing 17 students and faculty members.
The incident has sparked furious debate over gun control, and this may be the first time the outrage is strong enough and lasts long enough to move the needle.
The students have been speaking out on social media and through more traditional outlets, while also showing up to government buildings in the Florida State Capitol and in Washington, D.C. to show politicians that they mean business.
Common sense gun control remains a challenging goal to achieve because of the power of the NRA, especially in Florida where the organization has some of its most powerful lobbyists.
Nevertheless, despite facing an uphill battle and vociferous challenges from the NRA and its supporters, the Parkland survivors have refused to back down on calls for bans on assault rifles, raising the minimum age for gun ownership to 21, and more mental health screening and background checks.
The event is scheduled for March 20, just a few days before the students march on Washington, with sister marches planned around the country to call for common sense gun reform.
The Trump administration has put forth plans to study the possibility of taking measures to make schools safer, including arming teachers and instating more mental health care and screenings. The students say this is not enough and they’ll continue to fight.