The Fourth Wave: Emma Gonzalez
Thursday 19th July 2018 | Roberta Micallef
The Fourth Wave is a series of stories
about people advocating for women's rights, today.
Emma Gonzalez’s voice and silence rattled the world when she stood on stage at the March for Our Lives event in March, 2018. As one of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors, Gonzalez has made it her mission to end gun violence.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting happened in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018. Seventeen students and staff were killed and seventeen others were injured. The assailant was a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student and was arrested shortly after leaving the scene of the crime.
She and her fellow schoolmates founded the gun control advocacy Never Again MSD, demanding legislative action making it harder to obtain a firearm in the US. They condemned law-makers who received political contributions from the NRA (National Rifle Association) including President Trump.
At the anti-gun rally, the day after the mass shooting, Gonzalez’s made a speech during which she chanted "We call B.S". She called out President Trump for accepting $30,000,000 from the NRA, asking, “Is that how much these people are worth to you, Trump?”. After listing the victims of the shooting, Emma Gonzalez stood in silence for 6 minutes and 20 seconds - the amount of time it took for the shooter to kill the seventeen people from her school. She left everyone who watched her speechless, knowing better gun control could have prevented the loss of seventeen people.
Gonzalez’s ability to engage people with her words is phenomenal. Through her leadership and advocacy she has managed to encourage thousands to fight for better gun reform and to stand up against those with power and money. Gonzalez became the face of gun control and youth activism. She shaped the idea that young people are the change makers, and abolished the idea that young people didn't know anything about government and legislation.
Some of the student advocates from Never Again MSD are on the March for Our Lives: Road to Change bus tour this summer, registering young people to vote, and educating them about the elected officials who are still being funded by the NRA.