Three days after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at his former school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, student Emma Gonzalez delivered a powerful speech about the government’s inaction on gun control. At a Saturday rally in Ft. Lauderdale, the senior took to the lectern to call out the government officials who are in the National Rifle Association’s pocket.
Showing the crowd that the students at Marjory Stoneman are prepared to take action, she said, “We will 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 all going to be due to the tireless effort of the school board, the faculty members, the family members, and most importantly, the students.”
She went onto criticize those who say the issue at hand is mental health and not gun control. She reminded the crowd that students had reported Cruz for years and nothing had come of it. “But we need to pay attention to the fact that this isn’t just a mental health issue,” she added. “He wouldn’t have harmed that many students with a knife. How about we stop blaming the victims for something that was the shooter’s fault?”
Emma spoke about Trump, who has received millions of dollars in funding from NRA, and asked him what the lives of the students were worth. As gun control debates rage on, many have criticized politicians who have taken the NRA’s campaign contributions and refuse to speak out against gun control, even after the numerous mass shootings that have occurred. “To every politician who is taking money from the NRA, shame on you,” Emma said. As she wiped tears from her face, the audience chanted: “Shame on you.”
She then listed all the arguments against gun control legislation and summarily called BS on them. Soon the audience was chanting “we call BS” along with her. Check out the powerful speech below: