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Parkland survivors shouldn’t be belittled or silenced because of their age

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Matt Firpo

Opinion Editor

It’s time to stop treating young adults like children, and more like educated individuals.

The victims of the deadly shooting on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, are caught between two narratives as they have called for stronger gun control regulations.

The typical cycle that follows a school shooting tends to classify the victims as children, framing them in a mindset of helplessness.

Socially, we associate children as undeveloped, immature and incapable of speaking intelligently and rationally on political issues. In this case, it is gun control.

However, these survivors are outspoken on social media, countering any narrative that tries to derail their stories.

Fake news is the other major obstacle that plagues the students of Parkland. In this age of information, individuals have posted on social media suggesting conspiracy theories that describe the tragic event was staged in order to further a liberal political agenda.

The best example of this would be the story that one of the students, David Hogg, was a crisis actor who wasn’t an actual victim in the shooting, and posed as a student.

Misinformation thrives on the fact that generally, individuals are unwilling to fact-check posts or news articles, and accept their truth at face value.

It is the duty of responsible citizens to educate themselves on current events and gain information from multiple sources.

Above all, the dismissive cloud that surrounds the voices of these survivors needs to be thrown off. Adolescents should be taken seriously in political conversations because these moments define the attitude of the next generation of voters.

The students of Parkland should be an example for media as well as political leaders. In a crisis, these survivors have not only taken a stand for change, but also actively fought against attempts to silence them.

No one can silence the truth, and the truth is that as a country, we desperately need to regulate the sale and ownership of firearms for the safety of our children and future.