The Nest

Parkland: Something is Different This Time

Mat Adler, Staff Writer

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This time, something’s different.

This time, we’re still talking about it.

Maybe we’ve finally had enough. Maybe we’re tired of being terrorized in everyday places.

Or maybe it’s the Rude Teens. Teens raised on social media, who know how to use the internet, who aren’t bound by ideas of civility. Teens who aren’t just talking, but acting. They are the survivors, and they’re not going away.

After a tragedy, the usual calls for change involve rallies, petitions, and charities in the victims’ memories. Impactful, but not disruptive enough to ignite change. The Parkland school shooting survivors are doing something different. They’re being loud and getting in people’s faces. They’re forcing action from people who would rather not be held accountable. And it’s working.

Not a day after the shooting, the survivors were calling for gun control (much to the anger of morally-bankrupt talking heads). They forced Marco Rubio, he of the over three million dollars in NRA contributions, to do a Town Hall, where he agreed to support modest gun control measures. They’ve pressured Florida governor Rick Scott into proposing legislation that would make it harder to people like the Parkland shooter to obtain guns. They’ve even dunked on right-wingers who have no viable opposition to The Teens’ activism other than conspiracy theories.

The crazy part is that things might actually change. The NRA is losing its corporate sponsors. The mayor of Dallas has told the NRA to move its annual convention elsewhere. As previously mentioned, Florida, one of the country’s gun-happiest states is facing massive internal and external pressure to enact new restrictions. A country that has historically been in favor of gun control measures is turning out in ways it previously hadn’t. Our institutions are on their heels.

Let’s hope the Rude Teens do it. Let’s all be a part of the next generation of political activists. They’ve done more in two weeks than one political party has done in twenty-five years. That shouldn’t end here.

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