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Young Voices – Never Again

The world’s deadliest school massacre up till now took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on 14 February 2018. Seventeen people were killed and seventeen were wounded.

Taking Action – Never Again

After the shooting, many of the students have stood forth and talked passionately against the gun laws in the USA, and they have demanded action and not compassion from the politicians and the President. They organized the group Never Again MSD, demanding legislative action to prevent further school killings. Many of the students have held moving speeches against the liberal gun laws for improved school safety.

Check out their website and list their main reason for establishing this initiative. Would you have joined their cause? Give your reasons.

Strong Young Voices

High school student David Hogg from Parkland has forcefully spoken up against the gun laws and mass shootings. What are his main arguments for taking action?

You may also watch his speech at the Washington rally, March for Our Lives.

Which of these two appeals do you find the most effective as appeals? Give examples.

March for Our Lives

March for Our Lives became an enormous rally across the world. On 24 March 2018 the demonstration in Washington attracted hundreds of thousands of people. Many kids held moving and memorable speeches.

‘Six minutes and 20 seconds,’ Emma Gonzalez started her speech. ‘In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us. 15 were injured. And everyone—absolutely, everyone—in the Douglas community was forever altered.’

Watch her speech. What rhetorical devices does she use?

Her speech has been described as ‘beyond amazing’. Do you agree? Argue your case.

‘I Have a Dream’

Nine-year-old grand-daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. appealed to the masses. Watch her speech.

What rhetorical devices does she use? Is this an effective appeal, do you think? Give your arguments.

What Now? Security Measures

One security measure which has been introduced to one high school is to have clear backpacks to prevent people from smuggling firearms into the school. This might seem to be a good idea, but watch the video where two high school students argue against this measure.  [NB! Bottom of the page: ‘Clear bags don’t make me feel secure’.]

What are their arguments? Why have they attached the price tag $1.5 to their backpacks?

What Are These Young People Up Against?

The Second Amendment
The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads: ‘A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’ The Constitution, in other words, at least according to those who support liberal gun laws, gives every individual citizen the right to own firearms. The rights of the individual are in general heavily stressed in American society, and in this issue as well. In contrast, many other democratic states around the globe do not have an individual right to bear arms. In the UK and in Norway, for instance, not even the police carry guns. How would you argue against a strong supporter of the second amendment?

The National Rifle Association (NRA) call themselves a civil rights organization, and stress that they are a patriotic organization. The NRA is a powerful lobby for the second amendment. The BBC has a guide to understanding the power and influence of this organization. Read and find out WHY the NRA is so powerful. What are the arguments they use to defend the right to have arms? Link:

What About You?

Write a short text
After having worked with this material, what has made the strongest impression on you, and why? Write a short text.

Write an appeal
Work in small groups and write an appeal to urge politicians to make gun laws stricter. Include arguments and examples in your appeal.

Write a short text
Write a short text where you argue how the poem ‘Dreams’ relates to the events following the mass school shooting in Florida.


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Lanston Hughes (1902–1967)

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