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These are the stories of school shooting survivors who became anti-gun activists

This time it was in Uvalde, south of Texas. But the same thing happened before. ParklandFlorida, or at school Sandy Hook, in Connecticut. One by one, year after year, the shootings in American schools have only added up since the first massacre of this type in the institute was registered in 1999. columbine.

The tributes, reflections and debates on the possession of weapons seem to follow the same path as in the previous tragedies. A path that until now has ended in a legal trap whereby schools continue to be a risk scenario in that country.

READ ALSO | The ‘appalling’ conspiracy theories surrounding the shooting at Texas’ Robb Elementary School

However, and despite the strong denial of different political groups, in addition to the notable influence of the powerful National Rifle Association (ANR), there is a group of survivors and relatives of the victims who perished in these attacks who do not rest in their attempt to limit the use of firearms. At least in schools.

These are five stories linked to the deadliest school shootings in recent years in the United States that have sought to change the situation in their country.

emma gonzalez

In 2018, Emma was in her senior year of high school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in her native Parkland, Florida.

On February 14 of that year, he was in the school auditorium with a dozen other students monitoring a promising science project. When the fire alarm went off, he tried to get out of the room, but was warned to hide.

In the corridors of his school he had started the massacre of Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student who murdered 17 people and injured 14 others before being arrested by the police.

Two hours after the alarm went off, Emma was able to leave the auditorium. The authorities had controlled the situation and the rest of the students were evacuated.

Three days later, Emma would come up to the state at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale. During her 11-minute speech, the young woman called on young people to take action against the shootings and described them as “A big lie” the laws for the control of arms enacted until then.

Emma Gonzalez became one of the leading figures in the March for Our Lives movement. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP /)

Along with other comrades who survived the massacre, he founded the Never Again movement, with which they seek to generate stronger legislation for the gun control in USA and that annually convenes the so-called March for Our Lives (March for our lives), with which they have come to Washington DC to directly request legislators to do something about this problem.

These days, Gonzalez continues to speak out as part of the national student movement against gun violence.

David Hog

As Emma took refuge in the school auditorium, David heard what sounded like the sounds of gunshots. Right away, he warned the science teacher about her and they tried to escape. A groundskeeper stopped them, thus saving them from crossing paths with Cruz during the shootout.

Instead of running away, another teacher told David and other students to hide in a closet. From his hiding place, he kept abreast of social networks, interviewed his classmates in case they did not survive, and communicated with his sister, who studied at the same school.

An hour later, a SWAT team rescued them.

Like Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg joined the student protests against the use of Firearms.

Both Hogg and Gonzalez have been a frequent target of extreme right-wing groups, even the young man stated during an interview that he had received death threats for his crusade against civilians having so many facilities to carry Firearms.

David Hogg addresses the crowd during the Parkland Survivors March in Washington DC on March 24, 2018.

David Hogg addresses the crowd during the Parkland survivors’ march in Washington, DC, on March 24, 2018. (Nicholas Kamm / AFP /)

In these years, Hogg published a book with his sister about the shootingthe same one that became a bestseller according to The New York Times and whose proceeds went to charity.

The young man studies at Harvard and continues his crusade so that “people with a criminal past or a history of mental illness cannot obtain these weapons of mass destruction”.

Bree Butler

A few weeks after the Parkland bombing there was a shooting south of Texas. Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old student, entered Santa Fe High School in Houston armed, shooting at those who crossed his path.

In total, 10 people were killed – 8 students and two teachers – and 13 others were injured before Pagourtzis was arrested.

Bree Butler, a young woman in her last year of school, managed to run away. A few days later, she would join other shooting survivors and local activists to create the Orange Generation, an organization that seeks to reduce gun violence through tougher legislation.

A month later, Butler was sitting outside Senator Ted Cruz’s office on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, demanding that they act on the issue.

Members of the Orange Generation demonstrated outside Republican Senator Ted Cruz's office on Capitol Hill in Washington DC demanding more gun legislation following the Santa Fe school shooting.

Members of the Orange Generation demonstrated in front of the office of Republican Senator Ted Cruz, in the Washington DC Capitol, demanding greater legislation for firearms after the Santa Fe school shooting. (Reuters Agency /)

We went to the Capitol, we went to Ted Cruz’s office and we sat until they threatened to arrest us.”, The young woman told the local newspaper “Texas Tribune” on that occasion.

According to the young woman, just hours after the shooting at her school ended, she received messages from Hogg and Gonzalez offering her support. “The Parkland guys let me know that I was capable of doing this (…) their voices raised mine”, he told the Texan newspaper.

Since then, both Buttler and the Orange Generation have organized different mobilizations demanding that a solution be found for the violence with Firearms.

nicole hockley

On December 14, 2012, a news story showed that even these tragedies can be even more devastating. Reports coming from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, reported a shooting where most of the victims were children.

The massacre caused by Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old who murdered his mother, Nancy, before heading to school, where he killed 20 children and 4 adults.

Then he committed suicide, which has prevented the authorities from finding the reason why Lanza decided to attack in this way.

Among the fatalities was Dylan, a 6-year-old boy with autism spectrum disorder.but incredibly empathetic, with an infectious laugh and who just wanted to have fun”, according to his mother, Nicole Hockley, in the child’s obituary.

The tragedy led Nicole, along with other parents of the victims, to create the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, an organization dedicated to preventing this type of tragedy in the american schools.

Through a program called “Know the signs”, the foundation has dedicated itself to offering talks, workshops and meetings with which it has been possible to avoid multiple possible shootingsteen suicides and countless acts of violenceaccording to their website.

Nicole Hockley and her husband Ian welcome then-President Barack Obama to a 2013 gun control event in Connecticut.

Nicole Hockley and her husband Ian welcome then-President Barack Obama during a 2013 gun control event in Connecticut. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP /)

Tom Mauser

On April 30, 1999, the NRA held its annual convention in Denver. Only 10 days before, in the same city, the first great massacre with Firearms at a school American.

The Columbine High School shooting left 13 dead, including Daniel Mauser.

His father, Tom Mauser, couldn’t stand the outrage. He took a poster, took out 400 copies of a pamphlet that he wrote at home and came to the event to protest.

Tom Mauser, wearing his son Daniel's shoes, walks by the memorial wall for the victims of the Columbine High School shooting.

Tom Mauser, wearing his son Daniel’s shoes, walks by the memorial wall for the victims of the Columbine High School shooting. (DON EMMERT / AFP /)

I spoke to a crowd of 10,000 people, 10 days after my son was killed”, recalls Mauser for the local TV channel WUFT.

That same year the group “Healthy Alternatives to the Gun Epidemic” (SAFE) and Mauser would be recruited as part of the organization.

Mauser and the organization got an amendment passed that limited citizens to getting the weapons that were used during the Columbine High School bombing.

Unfortunately, to date it is the only victory achieved by SAFE regarding the legislation of gun control.

Source: Elcomercio

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