3 reasons Gen Z activists have changed the gun control conversation when no one else could – CNBC

Thousands of students, educators and faculty across America took part in the #Enough National School Walkout on Wednesday to both honor those killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February and fight for stricter gun laws. More than any activists in a generation, they have managed to take over the conversation around gun control and American safety.

“These students are trying to build a different kind of world and correct a lot the mistakes people in previous generations made,” Columbia University professor Ed Morales, author of the upcoming book “Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture,” tells CNBC Make It.

Morales argues that Emma González, one of the most vocal student survivors, and her Gen Z peers (Americans born between 1994 and 2010) have succeeded in leading the March For Our Lives movement because of their youth, protest style and ability to hold inclusive conversations.

González, an 18-year-old student at Stoneman Douglas, directly called out President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association (NRA) at an anti-gun rally held days after the mass shooting. A week later, González and fellow survivors again criticized the NRA and lawmakers at a CNN town hall on gun violence.


And their efforts are showing: New results from a Gallup poll conducted after the Stoneman Douglas shooting found that support for stricter laws on gun sales is at its highest since 1993.

Here are three ways González and her Gen Z peers are pioneering change when so many who came before them failed, according to Morales.

Stoneman Douglas student survivors have primarily used social media to rally the public around hashtags such as #NeverAgain, #March4OurLives and #DouglasStrong.

Morales explains that while politicians in Congress and coalitions of victims’ families have pushed for gun law reform after

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