Naomi Wadler, the 13-year-old gun control activist you should know
“I don't think that activism should be my job either, but it is because it has to be.” Since the Parkland shooting, teen activist Naomi Wadler has been fighting hard for gun control in America.
Representing the African American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper
Naomi Wadler didn’t think she could be a gun control activist. But the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida inspired the 13-year-old to stand up. Since organizing her first walkout, she's spoken at events like The World Economic Forum in Davos and the March for Our Lives — all while continuing to balance schoolwork, and her life as a teenager.
“I was in my mom's office, and I was watching the news coverage from Parkland, Florida after the Parkland shooting. And I remember feeling almost numb to it. I felt like it was something that I saw a lot. I was 5 years old in kindergarten when the Sandy Hook shooting happened. I remember my mom coming to pick me up from school early and other parents being very giddy and like scared. And I don't know, it's been something that I've watched my entire life, gun violence. And so, when I saw all these other kids making a difference and standing up for what they believed in, I thought that I could do that, too. I mean, I've always had these conversations with my parents and with my sister and conversations about race and violence and how we felt about that. But I didn't think that I actually had it in me to act on my feelings and on my thoughts. And so, my friend and I held a walkout at the elementary school. It was 17 minutes for the 17 souls lost in Parkland, Florida, but we also added an extra minute for Courtlin Arrington, a black teen who was shot and killed at her school in Alabama”, activist Naomi Wadler tells Brut.
“I don't think that activism should be my job either, but it is because it has to be. And so, if you're an adult or a politician or the president, and you think that it's not my job, not our job to make a difference, then let me sit back and watch what you're going to do”