Our View: Social media is a valuable tool for change

Last Wednesday, the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 dead. Much of this was documented by students as the tragedy was still happening. 

The live footage, snap chats, and cellphone videos which have been released now to the public have received criticism from some, calling them disrespectful and unnecessary. But these videos are incredibly valuable because they force us to be in the middle of the shooting with the victims. It’s hard to disassociate from yet another mass shooting when we can literally hear the sobs of the students in a classroom, hear the pops of the gun firing, and see lifeless bodies on the floor. 

In this scenario, social media gave students a chance to show the world the reality of what they went through. After so many shootings in recent years, it’s scary how easy it is to remove ourselvesfrom the situation and push it aside. We console ourselveswith the notion that it isn’t us our ourfamily being affected and that the tragedy is hundreds of miles away. 

No, the use of social media has provided the public with up close and personal accounts of the shootings. It’s also providing survivors the means needed to share their testimonies and rally for change. 

The same apps which were used to document the shooting as it happened, are now platforms being used by survivors to advocate the need for gun control. 

Earlier this year, our editorial board wrote about the shooting in Nevada that claimed the lives of over 50 people. In the days and weeks following that shooting, people called for gun reform and stricter gun laws. However, the headlines eventually shifted their direction to other events and even though people still were fighting for reform, our attention fell on other happenings in the world. 

This time around though, the discussion on gun control isn’t being left to the solely political representatives and the “adults” of the country. Following the shooting in Parkland, the most outspoken and most opinionated have been the high schoolers affected by this travesty themselves. The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas are not going to let the issue be swept under the rug yet again. 

News coverage has been dominated by the surviving Parkland high school students. They are loudly and repeatedly calling for action by using their resources and their current platform. They are using social media to share, tweet and hashtag to raise awareness for the need for stricter gun laws in America. 

It’s amazing to see young people calling for and creating so much action. They have organized and inspired walk outs, lay-ins and marches, all in hopes to reform gun laws in America. Against the most adamant Second Amendment supporters, these highschoolers are standing firm in their beliefs, knowing that their voices must be heard to illicit change for our country. They are using the tools they know how to use best, to reach out to all of America to stir change. 

Our generation, scarred by mass shootings seemingly every other week, has grown tired of the same news headlines containing murder weapons and death counts. Our generation is fed up with the death and destruction caused by ignorant regulations and requirements. The surviving students of Parkland, Fla.serve as an inspiring example of how powerful young people are. 

Their voices will not go unheard, and their efforts will not go unseen. By using the platform of social media, survivors of the Parkland shooting are able to effectively spread their message and advocate for the change we need.

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