Remember the name Emma Gonzalez. She surely has many more speeches to come.
In the aftermath of last week’s shooting in Parkland, Florida, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior and survivor stepped up during an anti-gun rally to deliver a fiery speech. Like so many others, Gonzalez is fed up. She’s seen firsthand the desperate need for tighter gun controls, and she understands the political machinations that prevent such changes from happening.
It’s a powerful moment. You should watch for yourself.
“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
“Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving,” Gonzalez said early in the speech. “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.”
(Read the full transcript right here.)
Ms. Gonzalez is one of many survivors of a school shooting — there have been more than 200 in the United States since the turn of the century — who now has to live with everything that comes next. The thoughts and prayers. The appeals to not politicize this grief-filled moment. The efforts to cast the blame for killings on something other than the tools of those killings.
Gonzalez has heard it all before. She’s a high school senior. She’s grown up in a culture that’s allowed hundreds of school shootings to happen in the space of 18 years. She’ll probably be old enough to vote by November, if she isn’t already. She’ll definitely be old enough by 2020.
So when Gonzalez says “we call BS” on NRA-backed Congressional leaders claiming nothing could be done to prevent this, she’s actually in a position to carry that anger and frustration into a voting booth. As are many of the thousands of others who have either survived a shooting like this or been touched by personal connections to such an incident.
In the hours since CNN televised the speech and then shared it on social media, the name “Emma Gonzalez” has become a top trending topic. She’s got TV appearances lined up. She may not be the sole voice out there unloading on the rampant hypocrisy that continues to keep tighter gun control laws at bay, but that speech really resonated.
It’s no surprise.
I’ve never seen more hope in the midst of such devastation and grief.
God bless Emma and these kids. I really think they might be the ones to finally get #CommonSenseGunLaws passed.
Speech from student Emma Gonzalez on guns and NRA https://t.co/Bklux8XskZ via @YouTube
— Joey McIntyre (@joeymcintyre) February 18, 2018
I only deleted my last tweet cause I haven’t fact checked her age, but reguardless, she’s a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT with more passion and strength then the people who run the country, so again, I wish I had half as much of that in high school, and now! #EmmaGonzalez
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) February 18, 2018
To all the Republicans who take NRA money and the sanctimonious Democrats who think it’s ok to “evolve” on gun control once you no longer represent a pro-gun district: These kids just called your BS.
America needs leaders, not followers.https://t.co/A7aUe8Iz0o
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) February 18, 2018
What the viral video version of Emma Gonzalez’s speech misses is that the hundreds in the crowd were just as furious.
The mood here isn’t solemn – it’s seething. I can’t remember another shooting sparking such palpable anger. At least not since Newtown. https://t.co/825NHZnjPy
— Wesley (@WesleyLowery) February 18, 2018
Emma Gonzalez is powerful. And it is that energy that will change the world.
— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) February 17, 2018