'Get on the Right Side': Shooting Survivors Decry Government 'Inaction' - NBC New York
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'Get on the Right Side': Shooting Survivors Decry Government 'Inaction'

"The attention is on us now. People are watching," one student said



    Parkland Shooting Survivor Calls 'BS' on Politicians' Gun Stance

    Marjory Stoneman Douglas High senior Emma Gonzalez had a message for president Donald Trump and for other politicians on their failure to enact sensible gun laws: "BS." (Published Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018)

    The young students who survived Wednesday's deadly massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have found themselves at the center of the country's tempestuous gun control debate — and they're not shying away.

    Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Alex Wind and Jaclyn Corin appeared on a slew of Sunday morning shows, including NBC's "Meet the Press" with Chuck Todd, to tell politicians not to let their 17 classmates and teachers die in vain.

    "This is our opportunity to talk to President Trump, [Florida] Gov. Rick Scott and state Sen. Marco Rubio to make sure that they know we are talking directly to them and all other members of the United States government that are being funded by the NRA," said Gonzalez, a senior. "Now is the time to get on the right side of this."

    Gonzalez is one of several students who spoke at a rally in Ft. Lauderdale Saturday. She railed against politicians and led a "we call B.S." chant with the hundreds of people who attended the protest against gun violence.

    Hogg shared Gonzalez's anger over what he called "inaction and debate" from government officials, saying he would not feel safe returning to his Parkland, Florida, classroom "until reasonable mental health care legislation and gun control legislation is passed."

    "This is the time for discussion and for all people ... to come together as Americans through love and compassion," the senior said. "So many people lost loved ones. Our community and our nation have taken too many bullets to the heart, and now is the time for us to stand up."

    Hogg said the status quo is "unacceptable."

    "How many more students are gonna have to die and have their blood spilled in American classrooms trying to make the world a better place, just because politicians refuse to take action?" Hogg asked.

    Hogg is a news director at Stoneman Douglas and recorded video of Wednesday's rampage while he hid with other students. As bullets sprayed through the halls, Hogg interviewed his classmates and documented their fear.

    Kasky, however, said he is looking forward to returning to school, to "be with the community and be around everybody supporting each other."

    "One of the best things to come out of this horrible tragedy is the fact that Parkland has stayed strong, and we're not gonna let the 17 bullets we just took take us down," the junior said. "If anything we’re gonna keep running and we're gonna lead the rest of the nation behind us."

    Kasky added: "The attention is on us now. People are watching."

    Fla. state Sen. Lauren Book announced Sunday that about 100 Stoneman Douglas students will travel to Tallahassee and meet with senators and House members "on both sides of the aisle" and hold a press conference afterward to "share their experiences, ideas, and messages" following the shooting. 

    And Trump also announced Sunday that he will host Stoneman Douglas students and teachers in a listening session Wednesday.