A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor has called out President Donald Trump, Washington, the National Rifle Association and those opposed to stronger firearm regulation for ‘BS’ at a gun control protest in Fort Lauderdale.
‘To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA — shame on you,’ student Emma Gonzalez said.
As the crowd cheered: ‘Enough is enough’, Gonzalez wiped tears from her face as she made her impassioned speech, which called ‘BS’ on firearm laws in the United States.
"They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS!" Florida high school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez calls on President Trump and lawmakers to tighten gun restrictions in impassioned speech at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale https://t.co/DgnqrrVs9x
— CNN (@CNN) February 17, 2018
The protest was taking place in Fort Lauderdale, a short distance from Parkland, the city where earlier this week, seventeen people were killed in what was the eighteenth school shooting in America.
In reference to tweets made by President Trump in response to the tragedy where he sent hopes and prayers to the victims, questioned the mental health of suspect Nikolas Cruz and laid the blame with victims for not reporting suspicious behaviour to authorities, Gonzalez said, ‘We did. Time and time again — since he was in middle school. It was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was a shooter.’
Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving.
But instead we are up here standing together 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.
In her emotional speech, Gonzalez questioned why ‘it was harder to make plans with friends at the weekend than to buy a gun in Florida’ and called out the selfishness of the right to bear arms over the safety of innocent lives.
I read something very powerful to me today. It was from the point of view of a teacher. And I quote: When adults tell me I have the right to own a gun, all I can hear is my right to own a gun outweighs your student’s right to live. All I hear is mine, mine, mine, mine.
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018
Trump’s victim blaming tweet read:
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior.
Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again
In response, Gonzalez said:
There is one tweet I would like to call attention to. ‘So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities again and again.’
We did, time and time again. Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter.
Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him, you didn’t know this kid. OK, we did. We know that they are claiming mental health issues and I am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this was not just a mental health issue.
He would not have harmed that many students with a knife.
Closing her speech, which CNN report in full, Gonzalez said those in power are lying to the those who voted them into their positions of authority:
Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS.
They say tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS.
They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS.
They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS.
They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS.
That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call BS.
Our thoughts continue to go out to those affected by this tragedy.
Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.