Hanna Da’Mes, Staff Writer |
Emma González, 17, senior of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is at the forefront of America’s socio-political change.
Survivor of the Parkland shooting on February 14, 2018, González has made immense steps toward gun control reform.
Emma is a co-founder of Never Again MSD (Marjory Stoneman Douglas), also referred to as #NeverAgain, which is the movement in support of stricter regulations on gun ownership in an attempt to prevent gun violence. The movement gained momentum through national media coverage of the students involved in the activism group, as it started taking active steps for change. Within a couple of days of the movement’s creation, the students organized a protest scheduled to take place on March 24.
On February 17, just three days after the shooting at her high school, González gave a moving speech at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The address was heartfelt, emotional, and realistic, with all the authenticity of a young high schooler fighting for justice and reform.
González spoke in horror of how easy it is to purchase and gain ownership of a gun in Florida.
She mentioned a powerful quote from a teacher that resonated deeply with how she felt: “When adults tell me I have the right to own a gun, all I can hear is my right to own a gun outweighs your student’s right to live.”
It was hard to hold back tears watching Emma struggle to do the same.
González began giving her audience statistics about shootings in other countries and it was incredibly obvious that America has a far higher gun violence issue than any other country. Those in office in America have the power to contribute to the lessening of this problem, but the continual denial is leading to more and more casualties.
Perhaps the most inspirational part of her speech was when González began with “We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because we are going to be the last mass shooting.”
She is shameless in attacking the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the forty fifth President who, as González claims, has received copious amount of money from the NRA.
Emma represents a generation that is sick of being told to stay out of politics, and that they are too young to know what is good for them. She is consistently active on Twitter, and uses her newfound platform for nothing but activism.
Throughout the day, González constantly spreads awareness, shares information, and inspires hope in her social media followers. She has participated in Q&A discussions, attended meetings with other student leaders, and appeared on “60 Minutes” to talk about her experience and goals.
It is heartbreaking to see the weight of the world on a 17-year-old’s shoulders, but Emma is carrying this responsibility with a refreshing sense of grace and relentless dedication.
She is a symbol of hope, a chance for change and betterment. Emma González will no doubt be in future history textbooks as one of the most influential teens of her generation.