Oakton Outlook

School-shooting survivors ‘Stand up’

CNN gives a platform to grieving student to express their opinions on gun-control.

AP

AP

Courtney Te, Editorial Board

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   CNN was able to give a voice to the survivors of the mass school-shooting that occured in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last week on February 14th. Students were able to talk about their feelings about the national debate brought up by this tragic event over the course of the last week. This debate? To no one’s surprise—gun laws.

   It’s no secret that guns have become one of the biggest and most controversial topics prevalent in America today. Especially considering that a majority of other countries have lived peacefully without a fraction of violence that America has experienced in the last few years due to their stricter regulation of guns. To address this topic, CNN hosted The CNN Town Hall “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action” that aired last Wednesday. Students were able to express their opinions on the topic directly to Florida state Senator, Marco Rubio, and representatives of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

   Marco Rubio was one of the first to representatives to take the stage. Rubio is a known affiliate with the NRA, often receiving funding for his campaigns through the organization. This fact became one of the main points of attack and accusations against him. A student questioned Rubio, who earlier claimed that he wanted nothing but to protect children (even referencing his own daughter for sympathy), if he would stop accepting donations from the NRA for the sake of the 17 people that were killed in the massacre. Rubio expertly dodged the question, claiming that he would accept donations for anyone that ‘buys into the agenda.’ The NRA openly disapproves any movement that changes the current gun laws, so many questioned whether if Rubio feels the same. Rubio denied the fact. While many praised Marco Rubio for ‘having the guts’ to show up to an event where it was obvious that he would receive harsh criticism, many argued the exact opposite—that he didn’t deserve to be commended at all for simply doing his job.

   The average attention span of the internet is short, with a topic coming and going in the blink of an eye (or, well, typically between a 7-9 day span). This means many important issues become a strong area for debate for around a week, then is quickly forgotten in favor of another issue, or due people losing interest. This shouldn’t be the case this time around. The topic of gun laws should never be brought up only around the time of mass-shootings. The people of the United States shouldn’t be waiting for another tragedy to spark interest for change. Contrary to what Pence or other government officials claim as an issue too soon to talk about, it’s time to call for the opposite. Right now is the time for change—to do something now to prevent another gun-related tragedy from happening in the future.

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