Starlings of the Month: March 2018
To stand up and face the world after losing 17 of your classmates takes the utmost amount of strength. To stand up and face your legislators and demand to have your voices heard while still in mourning of those 17 classmates is extraordinary. Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, two of the students at the forefront of the Shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School are nothing short of that.
In the year of 2018, 19 years after the infamous Columbine High School shooting in Colorado, there has been an average of 10 school shootings per year in the U.S. According to a report by the Washington Post, more than 187,000 students in America have been exposed to gun violence in school since the Columbine massacre. We are now living in the age of the school shooting. Students in K-12 experience active shooter lockdowns just as frequently as they do fire drills.
So after Gonzalez and Hogg experienced the deaths of 17 of their high school class mates, they decided enough was enough.
Emma Gonzalez is one half of the Starling’s for the month of March due to her actions following the Parkland shooting. Instead of rightfully processing the grief which she experienced having seen 17 of her peers killed at the hands of a former class mate, Gonzalez took action. On Feb. 17, just three days after the shooting, Gonzalez gave her now viral 11-minute speech promising to enact a change in gun control at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale. Gonzalez has since gone on to participate in a CNN sponsored town hall on gun control, organize (allow with her fellow parkland students) the March for Or Lives protest and become the face of the modern gun control movement, dubbed #NeverAgain across social media.
Where Emma is the fire behind the movement, David Hogg is the brimstone. Hogg’s very presence in the limelight since the Parkland shooting is largely due to his refusal to back down. Along with Gonzalez, Hogg also attended town halls and challenged Florida legislators to act on gun control. Where Gonzalez kept her words more vague and general, Hogg took a more direct approach and called out those in power. He criticized the politicians who are in the pockets of the NRA, he bombarded lawmakers in an effort to force a reasonable change, and he declined to accept any politicians “thoughts and prayers” that came without action.
With all of Hogg’s visceral actions within the limelight he was not without his own opposition. He was both targeted by Fox News television personality Laura Ingraham who attacked Hogg over his rejected college applications. Hogg was also the victim of harassment from conspiracy theorists online believing Hogg to be a paid crisis actor after appearing in various interviews. Thorough all of the encounters however, Hogg has remained an outspoken member of the movement and continues to work within the #NeverAgain movement.
Hogg and Gonzalez’s actions as young leaders and catalysts for change make them both irrefutable Starlings for March 2018.
See what Twitter currently has to say about these two: