Emma González: An Advocate for Gun Control

Grace Galante, Content & Social Media Editor

Who is Emma González?

At only 20 years old, Emma González is one of the founders of March For Our Lives and one of the leading gun-control activists in the United States.

After surviving a mass shooting at her high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on February 14, 2018, Emma took a personal tragedy and created a movement that has caused a tremendous change regarding gun safety.

After losing 17 classmates, teachers, and friends in the shooting, Emma, along with classmates Alfonso Calderón, Sarah Chadwick, Jaclyn Corin, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, and Alex Wind founded March for Our Lives. The first march for March for Our Lives occurred just 4 days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

It was at this march that Emma first gained recognition, as her “We Call B.S.” speech pressured lawmakers in her home state of Florida to change gun control laws that contributed to the shooting at her high school. She also called on young people to advocate for stricter gun control laws across the United States. Her speech quickly went viral, and she became the new face of the gun-control movement.

After this first rally, March for Our Lives began holding rallies across the country. On March 24, 2018, I attended the March for Our Lives rally in Chicago with over 85,000 people.

Grace Galante

At the rally, I was lucky enough to hear one of Emma’s speeches. While Emma’s words were touching and inspiring, the most impactful part of her speech was the 6 minutes and 20 seconds of silence. The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas lasted exactly 6 minutes and 20 seconds, and while this may not seem like a very long time, 17 innocent lives were taken during this time.

In the two years since I attended March For Our Lives, Emma has continued to make strides in the gun control movement.

Since its inception, March for Our Lives has helped to register 850,000 new voters  and contributed to the 47% increase of youth turnout at the 2018 midterm elections. This led to a record-breaking 46 candidates NRA-backed candidates losing their elections in November 2018.

Currently, March for Our Lives is advocating for the federal government to implement a system of gun licensing that includes higher standards for gun ownership. Additionally, March For Our Lives is advocating for a federal ban on assault weapons, a nation gun buy-back and disposal program, and a federal policy to disarm gun owners who pose a risk to themself or others.

Regardless of your stance on Second Amendment rights, Emma’s leadership and commitment to change is inspiring. Her courage and passion to fight for her beliefs make her a role model for young women, and also shows young people that you’re never to young to make a change in the world.

If you want to learn more about March For Our Lives or get involved, please click here.