Vote for Our Lives Tour

School shooting survivor Daniel Williams talks about importance of voting



Daniel WIlliams, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, speaks at the ACP National College Media Convention on Oct. 28 in Louisville, Kentucky. Students from the school planned last year’s March for Our Lives rally in Washington D.C. and are now on a Vote for Our Lives Tour. Learn more at

Daniel Williams was a high school senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when the Feb. 14 shooting happened. Now, eight months later as freshman in college, he was a keynote speaker on the last day of the ACP/CMA conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Interviewed by Lisa Renze-Rhodes, a Ball State advisor, on Oct. 28 in front of a room filled with budding young journalists, he spoke about how the experience that the students went through that day led to the creation of March for Our Lives.

Just four days after the shooting, the students of MSDHS put together the organization March for Our Lives to try and make sure that something like what happened to them wouldn’t happen to anyone else.

“What can we do … We can’t just let this happen, have thoughts and prayers sent our way and be done with it,” said Williams.

The organization moved quickly and even gained the attention from various celebrities. Barley more than a month later, on March 24 they went to Washington D.C. with the support of many people around the country to protest gun violence.

The speed of the movement happening might have to do with the fact that the people wanting change are so young. “We’re teenagers and we want things done now, we don’t like to wait on things” said Williams.

Since the march on Washington the organization now has been focused on getting people to vote. Specifically, getting young adults to vote and care about the issues that are going on in their country.

“Don’t’ tell me it doesn’t matter,” said Williams on the indifference of younger voters. “There are so many local elections that are determined by less than one hundred votes.”

The Vote for Our Lives tour has been going around to different college campuses to encourage young voters to vote.

“We want people caring about these issues and caring about the people representing them, before the issue really effects them,” said Williams “I’m kind of sad that it took a shooting at my school to care about this issue.”   

The issue of stricter gun control has many supporters of the second amendment feeling threatened, but Williams doesn’t want to take away the second amendment.

“I don’t want to take anyone’s guns away, we’re just trying to make it harder for bad people to get weapons in their hands,” said Williams.

The midterm election that happened on November 6 is the first election since the Parkland shootings, and the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas continue to work for March for Our Lives even as many have graduated.

Some are starting college while others are taking a year off, but almost all of them are making sure that what they are fight for is kept a priority.

“It’s really important to us, we’re going to make time to be able to do these things,” said Williams.