A deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida took the lives of 17 people on Wednesday, 14 of them students. The devastating news has many on social media feeling numb and helpless; there have been 290 school shootings in the U.S. since 2013, and the gun homicide rate in America is 25 times higher than that of other developed countries, a statistic that politicians seem loathe to change.
Many in power are offering their thoughts and prayers as usual this week, but the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — students who survived the horrific tragedy — are demanding much more than that. These heroic teenagers are using their platforms to speak out, and to call for gun control so that more of their friends’ lives are not lost to senseless violence. They are speaking out in the news, posting on Twitter, and slamming false reports to urge the government to hear their voices.
Their powerful tweets, accounts, and corrections are below.
@realDonaldTrump hello I’m the 16 year old girl who tweeted you that I didn’t want your condolences, I wanted gun control, and went viral because of it. I heard you are coming to my community soon. I would love for you to hear my opinions on gun control in person.
– a survivor
— Sarah Chadwick (@Sarahchadwickk) February 16, 2018
Why are you punishing students and victims by turning our schools into prisons instead of implicating gun control and stricter gun laws?
— Sarah Chadwick (@Sarahchadwickk) February 17, 2018
A gun has killed 17 of my fellow classmates. A gun has traumatized my friends. My entire school, traumatized from this tragedy. This could have been prevented. Please stfu tomi https://t.co/qNo03ZE3Ev
— Kyra Parrow (@longlivekcx) February 15, 2018
I was hiding in a closet for 2 hours. It was about guns. You weren't there, you don't know how it felt. Guns give these disgusting people the ability to kill other human beings. This IS about guns and this is about all the people who had their life abruptly ended because of guns. https://t.co/XnzhvuN1zd
— carly (@car_nove) February 15, 2018
it is actually about guns u witch from hell https://t.co/mva3qYu0Tc
— Nikhita Nookala (@nikhitaaan) February 15, 2018
my only words. pic.twitter.com/5ICqoGrybl
— a 🪐 (@alysgoldfarb) February 16, 2018
I was there. I saw and heard classmates get killed right in front of me. The people at my school who experienced this want gun control even more than before.
— Morgan Williams (@morganw_44) February 14, 2018
We applaud these teens for using their voices to call for change, especially in a time of intense grieving. We are watching. We are listening. We hope those in power are doing the same.