Parkland Survivors Have Formed A New Group & You Need To Know What They Stand For

by Lani Seelinger
Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

This time, the survivors of the the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida have vowed that things are going to change. They've already started organizing to prevent gun violence, and if you want to join in their effort, you're going to want to know what Never Again MSD is.

The whole community — and much of the nation — is still mourning the shooting, but multiple students have banded together to take gun violence prevention into their own hands. Their names are Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, Alex Wind, Jaclyn Corin, Sofie Whitney, and Delaney Tarr, among others, and they're prepared for a fight. They're calling their movement Never Again, and the "MSD" added at the end of their Twitter account refers to the name of their school.

On its Facebook "About" section, the group describes itself as "run by survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. We are sick of the Florida lawmakers choosing money from the NRA over our safety. #NeverAgain."

They also posted on the brand new Never Again MSD Twitter account: "#NeverAgain will be standing up to the politicians, and marching for every kid: past, present, and future."

This tweet also contained an important announcement about an event that Never Again will be putting on. Not only are they trying to prevent future shootings by meeting with legislators and spreading the word of their fight throughout the media — they're also holding what they're calling the March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C. on March 24.

Never Again, March For Our Lives, and the social media accounts of the various students involved have gone viral in the past couple of days, highlighting the extent to which these kids' message is striking a chord across America.

"In Newtown the students were so young they couldn't stand up, but trust me — we are going to be the change," said Wind, one of Never Again's organizers, according to BBC News.

"We are saying as young adults, enough is enough and we are taking that message as far as possible," the Sun Sentinel reports that Gonzalez, a Never Again organizer and Stoneman Douglas senior, said at a rally.

The fact they've moved so quickly to turn their grief and anger into a concrete organization and concrete plans for action is proof that they know exactly the kind of fight that they're in for.

"This fight is not going to be easy. This fight is not going to be short," said David Hogg, who is currently 17. "The people and the special interests who want to pass gun laws and make it easier for people to get guns are not going to stop — and we can't either."

Never Again MSD has a lot going for it — the students behind it are tech savvy, they've fully educated themselves on the issue, and their updates on Twitter show that PR is already one of their main strengths.

"Hey, it's @cameron_kasky," wrote Kasky, one of the original founders, on the Saturday after the shooting. "Much to do. Alfonso on the phone with NPR in my bathroom. Making so many calls. Tune in to the news tomorrow. Emma David and I will be on CBS tonight. Thank you all. Tomorrow is the day."

Fellow organizer Jaclyn Corin handled another element of their work: a trip for her and 100 other students to Tallahassee to meet with Florida lawmakers.

"Our coping mechanism is dealing with it in a political aspect," she said. "I know that a lot of us in the school have different coping mechanisms, and it's good that we do because we need a wide variety of comfort and mourning, but also political action."

Had the Stoneman Douglas students grieved in private or merely accepted the American public's condolences, no one would have faulted them. Political action certainly isn't expected in this situation on the part of the victims, and especially not so soon after an attack. But luckily for the gun violence prevention movement, a new and potentially powerful organization called Never Again MSD has risen out of this unspeakable tragedy.