Here’s how to show American students that we are encouraging them – at the same time getting the attention of American lawmakers to show them that the world is watching.
What to do
Post a photo or short note anywhere on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and include the hashtags we list below. Whether you write your own note or copy a standard note from this page, please remember to include the hashtags! It’s the hashtags that will make this plan work.
It is not essential to include a photo. Every note of support counts, but photos create a far greater impact than text posts – not only because the social media programs prefer to share them more widely, but because images create a greater impact on viewers. Images of real people create the biggest impact.
If you are in Australia, UK or Japan (or any other country with gun control and zero mass shootings), simply copy and paste this note:
From [YOUR COUNTRY] – We stand with American students as they fight for education in gun-free schools. This is what education looks like in a country with gun control and zero mass shootings.
#WeStandWithAmericanKids #Resilience101 #GunReformWorks
If you are in any other country (except USA), simply copy and paste this note:
From [YOUR COUNTRY] – We stand with American students as they fight for education in gun-free schools.
If you are in USA, simply copy and paste this note:
We stand with our students as they fight for education in gun-free schools.
Why the hashtags are important
This tag is unique to this project. Using it means that all the posts of support from outside America will show up in a single search. It’s very important that the kids who are driving their own campaigns can see the international encouragement, because there are no examples within their own country of schools which are gun-free.
Seeing evidence that other students can attend school without fear of being shot will show them that their goal is reachable. Support from gun reform countries will help to sustain these kids in the long road to achieving their goal of safe education.
This tag is not widely used, but has already been used a couple of times by the #NeverAgain campaign for gun reform. It makes sense for Americans to use this tag to show support for students in their own country.
This tag identifies posts which are about strength and persistence in the face of adversity. Its purpose is to encourage the students in their campaigns by acknowledging that the job they are undertaking requires immense stamina and fortitude.
Using this tag shows students that we wish them strength as they persist with this important challenge. Also, the tag relates to this website, and it allows us to gather and consolidate information so that we can analyse the progress of our support campaign, which will help us figure out how to most effectively promote the message.
This is the important message that Australia, UK and Japan can send Loud-and-Clear to the American lawmakers.
At the time of publishing this page, this is a barely-used tag – but it contains one of the most important points that must be made. Let’s flood the internet with it!
#NoGunsInSchool and #GunReformNow
These tags are being used by many American citizens who are in support of gun reform. Using this tag will reveal our international support to mainstream US gun reform advocates, journalists, bloggers – and, importantly, to US politicians.
“After the shooting, Cameron Kasky, a junior at Stoneman Douglas, and a few classmates started a Facebook page, “Never Again”, on which students have shared their experiences and posted information about organizing protests and public appearances. “People say it’s too early to talk about it,” Kasky said. “If you ask me, it’s way too late.”
Using this tag will add your message of support to the #NeverAgain movement which “is now gaining nationwide traction. All over social media, millions of messages of support are being posted. And attitudes may be shifting.”
Why is it especially important for Australia, UK and Japan to show America our gun-free schools?
Because America’s leadership will not move forward with gun reforms without pressure from the rest of the world – and if nothing is done, more children will be injured and killed by gunfire.
America is already aware that our countries have tight gun controls, and that we do not suffer the losses and trauma of mass shootings. However, the American lawmakers are refusing to acknowledge the connection between gun controls and zero mass shootings.
We need to show them what gun-free education looks like.
If not us, then who?
After the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, [UK expatriate] James Corden “looks at measures other countries have taken to curb gun violence and wonders why Americans continue to refuse to make any changes.”
All of us who live in Australia, UK and Japan each are evidence that it is possible to not live in fear that our children might be shot at school. Our children do not live in fear that they might be shot on any given day.
The freedom we enjoy is not intended only for us: “human rights are the rights to which everyone is entitled—no matter who they are or where they live.” According to Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which Australia, UK, Japan and USA have all adopted as members of the United Nations):
“Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.”
American students need our support and encouragement for the long road to safety.
If you have comments, ideas or questions about the #WeStandWithAmericanKids project, please leave a comment below.
Ms Shannon Lee
Student (3rd year Law)
Dr Kerri O’Donnell
This is just the beginning.
There is more about the #WeStandWithAmericanKids campaign, and some background links, HERE.
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