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Students Who Survived the Florida Shooting Are Stepping onto the National Stage to Demand Gun Control

February 18, 2018 in Blogs

By April M. Short, AlterNet

Five teenagers invite the nation to march with them to end mass shootings.

Seventeen people were shot to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14. Their peers and family members want this mass shooting to be the last one, and in order to drive that aim home, they are organizing the March for Our Lives, set for March 24 in Washington D.C. 

On a crowded podium the day after the shooting, Stoneman Douglas 12th-grader Emma González spoke to a crowd at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, surrounded by victims' family members and other shooting survivors. She recalled cowering in a closet for hours while she heard gunfire rain down on her friends. She shamed lawmakers for taking money from the NRA and refusing to take action on gun violence. 

“Every single person who is up here today, all these people, should be at home grieving, but instead we are up here because if all our government and president can do is send 'thoughts and prayers,' then it's time for victims to be the change that we need to see,” González said. “We need to pay attention to the fact that this isn't just a mental health issue. He wouldn't have harmed that many students with a knife!”

González is organizing a national protest effort alongside fellow students David Hogg, Alex Wind, Cameron Kasky and Jacqueline Coren, all of whom attend Stoneman Douglas and were there the day of the shooting. Their goal is to pressure legislators to implement stronger firearm regulations, and ideally, to restrict access to automatic and semiautomatic weapons like the AR-15 that enabled the accused gunman to massacre people at the school last week.

“We are going to be the last mass shooting,” Emma González said to a roaring crowd at the gun control rally. “Just like Tinker v. Des Moines, we are going to change the law. That's gonna be Marjory Stoneman Douglas in that textbook. And it's all going to be due to the tireless effort of the school board, the faculty members, the family members, …read more


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