The school shooting in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 kids and terrorized an entire school. As a result, schools across America were reevaluating their lockdown drills and parent-run social media groups are having heated debates over teachers being armed. Meanwhile, videos from inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas were uploaded, showing the terror these kids faced -- the sound of rapid fire bullets murdering their classmates getting closer, the bodies splayed flat and hoping to not be a target, the shaking arms in the air when the SWAT team arrived with guns drawn. This is what kids are learning in school today. They are learning that they aren't safe and the government is doing nothing about it.
These are the kids that will take down the lawmakers who are doing nothing. These are the future voters coming for Congress and their inability to create change. These are the people who the NRA should fear. These kids have grown up with the terrifying reality that they may be killed in Math class. And they aren't going to stand for it anymore.
These students may not be able to vote yet, but they will soon and their voices are being broadcast all over social media. When thoughts and prayers started to take over Twitter, mostly by Republicans, the kids at Stoneman Douglas during the shooting responded.
Conservative commentator, Tomi Lahren tried to divert attention from gun contol, but one student had words for her.
Donald Trump shared "prayers and condolences" and some students responded directly to him. "Why was a student able to terrorize my school mr president," one wrote. There were many others questioning what Trump was going to do about this, many from other schools fearing for the future.
And then there was this tweet:
This is not what should happen when we send our kids to school.
Cameron Kasky, a 17-year-old student at Stoneman Douglas, survived. He wrote an eye-opening piece for CNN that everyone should read. In it, he shared that their town -- Parkland -- was considered the safest town in Florida. If something like this can happen in the safest place, it can and will happen anywhere ... in America. Kasky wrote, "We can't ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises. And so, I'm asking -- no, demanding -- we take action now. Why? Because at the end of the day, the students at my school felt one shared experience -- our politicians abandoned us by failing to keep guns out of schools. But this time, my classmates and I are going to hold them to account. This time we are going to pressure them to take action. This time we are going to force them to spend more energy protecting human lives than unborn fetuses."
Kasky will be able to vote on his next birthday. It is this generation that will no longer tolerate what they have been forced to endure. Kasky continued:
"One of the most frustrating arguments I've heard is that it wasn't the Republican Party that killed those people and it wasn't the National Rifle Association -- it was the shooter himself. I understand where they are coming from. I do not believe this was a direct attack from the Republicans or their close allies at the NRA. However, the shooter is not the only one responsible for this tragedy. While the alleged shooter may have had several issues, he also lived in a society where Sen. Marco Rubio refuses to take responsibility for the role gun culture may have played in this tragedy. And there is no denying that the NRA continues to donate millions of dollars to politicians at every level of government. Then those politicians -- often 'family values' conservatives -- rile up their base by making them think that 'liberals' are going to take their guns away. Not knowing any better, some of these people stockpile guns in advance of a gun ban that never comes, and the gun manufacturers and the NRA make millions."
He goes on to say that he's "just a high school student" and he doesn't have "all the answers" but he seems to have more common sense than our lawmakers. This is an American problem -- and it doesn't matter if you are Republican or Democrat -- kids are being murdered and the change needs to happen now.
We can't do nothing. We have to have the conversation now. We can't become quiet about it in two weeks ... until the next shooting happens. Because it will and more kids will die.
These kids -- the kids in Parkland and all over the country who deal with preparation drills and what to do if an active shooter enters their school -- are the change. Tick tock, NRA. Tick tock, Congress doing nothing. These students aren't going to stand for this anymore, and neither are their parents. The time is coming to an end of those millions of dollars being paid to Republicans by the NRA in exchange for protection. We shouldn't be protecting the NRA -- we should be protecting our kids. And sensible gun laws is one way to start.