I know I've said for years now that if Republicans weren't pressured to respond to the NRA with new legislation after Sandy Hook, that it would never happen. Even the deadliest domestic shooting rampage in recent US history in Las Vegas didn't raise a single eyebrow in Congress. But maybe, just maybe, Parkland will be different
Teen survivors of the school shooting massacre in Florida last week are calling for a march on Washington to demand action on gun control.
Student organizers of the protest told ABC News' "This Week" Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday that they are determined to use protests and political action to make the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, a turning point in the national debate over gun control.
“People keep asking us, 'What about the Stoneman Douglas shooting is going to be different, because this has happened before and change hasn't come?'” Cameron Kasky, an 11th-grader told Raddatz. “This is it.”
“People are saying that it’s not time to talk about gun control. And we can respect that,” Kasky added. “Here’s a time. March 24th in every single city. We are going to be marching together as students begging for our lives.”
Called "March for Our Lives," the demonstration should transcend politics, according to Kasky and four of his classmates whom Raddatz also interviewed -- Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Alex Wind and Jaclyn Corin.
"This isn't about the GOP," Kasky said. "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."
The NRA is running scared. This is off the script. Nobody's supposed to care what the survivors think
. When there are survivors, they are supposed to be like GOP Rep. Steve Scalise, a man who would literally rather die than offer legislation to stop guns in America
, even though he was shot by a domestic terrorist.
We're supposed to have grieving parents we can safely ignore so we can pretend this was a tragic unavoidable disaster, not a preventable policy one made possible by an armed lobbyist group. We're supposed to have parents scream at educators and police, not the NRA and Congress.
These kids are way, way off script and the NRA doesn't know what to do
. These kids are Emma Gonzalez, survivor of last week's shooting, who spoke to the nation this weekend.
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.
Instead of worrying about our AP Gov chapter 16 test, we have to be studying our notes to make sure that our arguments based on politics and political history are watertight. The students at this school have been having debates on guns for what feels like our entire lives. AP Gov had about three debates this year. Some discussions on the subject even occurred during the shooting while students were hiding in the closets. The people involved right now, those who were there, those posting, those tweeting, those doing interviews and talking to people, are being listened to for what feels like the very first time on this topic that has come up over 1,000 times in the past four years alone.
I found out today there's a website shootingtracker.com. Nothing in the title suggests that it is exclusively tracking the USA's shootings and yet does it need to address that? Because Australia had one mass shooting in 1999 in Port Arthur (and after the) massacre introduced gun safety, and it hasn't had one since. Japan has never had a mass shooting. Canada has had three and the UK had one and they both introduced gun control and yet here we are, with websites dedicated to reporting these tragedies so that they can be formulated into statistics for your convenience.
I watched an interview this morning and noticed that one of the questions was, do you think your children will have to go through other school shooter drills? And our response is that our neighbors will not have to go through other school shooter drills. When we've had our say with the government -- and maybe the adults have gotten used to saying 'it is what it is,' but if us students have learned anything, it's that if you don't study, you will fail. And in this case if you actively do nothing, people continually end up dead, so it's time to start doing something.
We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we're going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because, just as David said, we are going to be the last mass shooting. Just like Tinker v. Des Moines, we are going to change the law. That's going to be Marjory Stoneman Douglas in that textbook and it's going to be due to the tireless effort of the school board, the faculty members, the family members and most of all the students. The students who are dead, the students still in the hospital, the student now suffering PTSD, the students who had panic attacks during the vigil because the helicopters would not leave us alone, hovering over the school for 24 hours a day.
These are the kids who are going to change the country. As far as the adults are concerned, the gun control debate is over.
The kids have other ideas.
Godspeed. Let's help them.