Teen survivors from the school shooting in Florida are standing up and marching on Washington D.C. demanding change. They are determined to make sure this is the last mass shooting.
These teens have had enough with the debate on gun control and believe that now is the time to end the argument and make a difference. On March 24, 2018, students in every city will be marching together, begging for their lives.
The demonstration is called, “March for Our Lives.” According to 11th grader Cameron Kasky, this demonstration “should transcend politics. This isn’t about the GOP. This isn’t about the Democrats. This is about the adults. We feel neglected and at this point, you’re either with us or against us.”
These students are angry that this mass shooting took place in their school. More importantly, they are angry there was another mass shooting at all. They are ready and determined to make a change now.
Kasky said that every politician, regardless of what side of the isle they are on, who takes money from the NRA is responsible for these tragic shootings. “At the end of the day, the NRA is fostering and promoting this gun culture. There should be a “badge of shame” on politicians who accept money from the NRA.
Emma Gonzalez, another survivor from the Florida school shooting, said the student activists want to have a conversation about guns with President Donald J. Trump, Senator Marco Rubio, and Governor Rick Scott. “We want to give them the opportunity to be on the right side of this.”
A father of one of the victims said, “My daughter was hunted. They were all hunted.” Students need to be safe at school. He believes the wrong people were messed with, and he is proud to stand with the students who want to enact change.
Gonzalez wants everyday kids to understand this can quickly happen at their school. A mass shooting can occur anywhere, at any time. She wants to encourage all students to march on March 24, in their cities. “They need to help us get our message across.”
The leader of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Wayne LaPierre said, on Feb. 22, that advocates for gun control are more focused on destroying liberty than protecting students. He stated that opportunists did not waste any time exploiting the tragedy for their own political gain. LaPierre was referring to the media and Democrats, not the students.
He believes the answer to mass school shootings is to increase school security. He also condemned those who were quick to “smear” the NRA. He said that those people, who are blaming the NRA, are concerned about politics and not about safety.
Chuck Schumer disagreed and accused the NRA of blaming everything, but guns, for this latest mass shooting.
Prior to LaPierre’s comments, Trump and his administration outlined a plan that would combat mass shootings: Tighten the national system for background checks, raise the age to 21 for the purchase of semi-automatic weapons, and to allow certain teachers and school staff to carry firearms on school campuses.
Schools are open, soft targets for anyone who is determined to commit mass murder. Jewelry stores, banks, celebrities, and politicians are more protected that the children of this nation, according to LaPierre.
The NRA leader blamed the FBI for the death of the 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He accused the agency of having corruption within its ranks, and said that those who are advocating for gun control are ignoring the failures of school security, the family, the mental health system, and the FBI.
A top official with the FBI agreed the agency made a mistake. They did not properly handle the report they received about Nikolas Cruz before he attacked the school. The tip about the shooter was never given to investigators. However, he said the agency is eager and determined to rectify the problem.
In response, Trump tweeted:
What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris, and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
Spokeswoman for the NRA, Dana Loesch, spoke before LaPierre. She stated, “Many in legacy media love mass shooting. You love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold.” She accused the media of ignoring the shooting deaths of African-Americans, in Chicago.
LaPierre stated that the only one who could stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke after LaPierre from an entirely different vantage point. He told people to “mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve.
He praised the president for calling on Congress to tighten background checks and restrict bump stocks, which are designed to speed up the fire of a semi-automatic weapon. He also said he would “pray for God’s wisdom that all of us in positions of authority might find a way to come together with American solutions to conform and end this evil in our time.” The shooting’s aftermath brought more division and anger to American citizens. It is time to unite and heal.
By Jeanette Smith
ABC News: Florida teen shooting survivors announce ‘March for Our Lives’ demonstration in Washington
NBC News: NRA’s Wayne LaPierre accuses Democrats of exploiting Parkland shooting in speech
Image Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License