When it comes to the events that transpired in Parkland, Florida during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it is assumed that a silver lining would be an impossible thing to find, considering the magnitude of the losses that occurred that day. However, in the case of this most recent gun-related tragedy in America, the aftermath has sparked something that may provide a glimpse of hope for the future, as student activists around the country are rising up against the inaction of the federal government, blood money of the gun lobbies, and to show solidarity with fallen victims and survivors of the Florida school shooting.
The #NeverAgain movement that has garnered immense momentum since the shooting took place not 10 days ago, has caused a stir within the conversation of gun reform, as young advocates now take the matter of gun reform into their own hands. Around the country, students are organizing and staging protests, becoming outspoken regarding their beliefs on America’s faltering gun laws, and demanding that their representatives take action to ensure their safety and security.
As mostly GOP lawmakers and their bedfellow colleagues at the National Rifle Association (NRA) start to feel the heat from these impassioned students, influential individuals around the country are doubling down on their support of the #NeverAgain movement. Renowned former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, a person who knows a thing or two about the political atmosphere, recently added his voice to the conversation, reiterating to the young activists to stand their ground and continue pushing forward.
In a Facebook post, Rather commented on the unprecedented and exponential growth of the student movement, making various noteworthy points in his comments. He begins by noting the various ways large interest groups, such as the NRA, will attempt to discredit and devalue their activism, but to remember that their values are the inherent definition of American patriotism.
"To those who are angry… Revenge is best served at the ballot box." Inspiring words for students from Dan Rather. @QueensUniv
— Andrea McCrary (@AndreaMcCrary1) February 20, 2018
Rather continued his statement by reminding the students that, although large interest groups may seem like they can subvert the will of the people, in reality no aspect of the political sphere can overcome the nation at large. He ended his post by pointing out that movements throughout history have succeeded when on the side of justice, and that the common sense policies students are pushing for have allowed for a large majority to join and support them in enforcing gun reform.
— Gary: Immoderator™ ? (@immoderator) February 24, 2018
Rather’s post comes in a timely manner, as conspiracy theories about the role of left-leaning organizations in coaching the young students on what to say have emerged. Despite not having a shred of evidence to back the claims, these wild beliefs have started to gain momentum, as people like Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr. grant credence to the theories.
We can debate guns. But to all those who mock or lie about the students of Douglas High, to all those who rain vitriol down on the nascent activism of students across the nation, to all those who spread outrageous conspiracy theories, there is no place for you in civil society.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) February 22, 2018
However, Rather reminds student activists that these tactics and means of subversion are to be expected, especially in their case which has placed immense pressure on lawmakers. The wisdom of Rather’s post is far-reaching and applies to the entire process of advocacy as a whole, as the nation is seeing a new wave of political activism sparked in a young generation, setting the stage to show that democracy only works when the people are actively involved.
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