Every movement is born of humanity and geared toward improving the quality of life. As such, it goes without saying, that the success of the most powerful movements chiseled in US history were necessitated in order to protect the gift of life, and secure the freedoms Americans enjoy. It should also be noted that the foundational ideas of any movement have more or less been deemed too radical for their time -- regardless of one’s stance. This kind of opposition and resistance to change tends to fuel the passion and endurance of those who’ve had injustices thrust upon them.

It prompts more conversation and underscores the need for responsible action.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School—the MSD Eagles, didn’t know they would ignite a nationwide movement when they challenged legislators about gun laws. This was in response to the mass shooting at their school on Valentine's Day 2018, that took the lives of seventeen students and staff. The students weren’t aware they would mobilize an entire nation to keep kids safe in schools.

Using mainstream media, they have made it repeatedly known to legislators that they will not give up. They’ve also addressed the National Rifle Association by telling them that they were not afraid of them. One student went as far as to define the NRA as a terrorist organization.

The debate has taken over coffee shop chats and social media altogether. Former President, Barack Obama, and all of America are supportive of the efforts of the students and their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Well, almost all of America, that is.

Traumatized kids are accused of being fakers

If living through the tragedy of witnessing their friends and teachers being slaughtered wasn’t enough, MSD students have found themselves under attack by far right-wing conspiracy theorists.

Some of these theories made their way onto social media and have been re-posted by other conspiracy theory folk. It was confirmed by CNN that Donald Trump, Jr. even liked two posts that attacked the validity and integrity of the children and the #NeverAgain movement. The cyberbullying attacks targeted specific students, who, through magnanimous courage and horrific pain, spoke out publicly on news outlets, against the inaction of lawmakers and the NRA.

One conspiracy proclaimed that one particular student who spoke to CNN wasn’t really a student, and wasn’t even present at the shooting. The conspiracy theorist claimed the teen was merely a crisis actor and coached by left-wing liberals. The social media post also accused the FBI and the Democratic Party of equipping the boy with talking points, that is to say, the students could not possibly understand the issues at hand. Furthermore, they -- little kids -- didn’t really understand how gun laws and legislation works.

MSD kids are on a mission

On Tuesday (Feb. 20), a motion to ban assault rifles was put on the floor in the Florida state legislature. Some students from MSD were present for the vote and watched in horror-filled grief as lawmakers batted down the motion to ban assault rifles in Florida—right on the heels of the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook.

What’s probably more stunning than the 71 to 36 vote was the fact that those same lawmakers voted to declare adult films a public health risk but not an assault rifle. So, at the end of the day, the Florida law that allows the purchase of assault weapons as long as you are 18 years old or older and pass a background check remains on the books.

Just hours after Florida lawmakers voted down the ban on the AR, busloads of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas descended upon their state capitol. These students were on a mission to speak to their senators and state representatives to demand they take action against gun violence in schools. Few lawmakers were able to meet with students and even fewer were in full support of students’ proposals.

On Wednesday evening (Feb. 21), CNN hosted a powerful town hall for the MSD teens and other kids from different schools which gave them a platform to share their thoughts with three Florida Congressmen. According to CNN’s Jake Tapper, CNN and the students had also extended an invitation to the president and Governor Scott (FL) to which both declined. In the charged auditorium, students posed questions and pushed for viable solutions. Senator Marco Rubio (R) who had received high marks and millions of dollars in funding from the NRA, broke from NRA ranks by saying he would consider and vote for increasing the age limit on automatic assault weapons and bans on weapon enhancements like bump stocks. Although no real solutions were reached, much was left on the table for lawmakers to mull over and digest.