Florida shooting: Children from school where 17 killed lead gun control movement, telling Trump ‘we will be the change’

Teenagers plan 'March for our Lives' in cities across US after saying they feel 'neglected' by adults

Jon Sharman
Monday 19 February 2018 11:29
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Florida student Emma Gonzalez passionately calls for gun control at rally after school shooting

Children campaigning for gun control in the wake of the Florida school shooting have “more moral clarity than the entire United States House of Representatives”, a senator has said.

Teens caught up in last week’s attack, which left 14 students and three staff members dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, are waging a campaign to change gun laws, saying “it’s time for victims to be the change” if adults will not act.

They plan a nationwide “March for our Lives” and say they feel “neglected” by adults, criticising politicians on both sides of the aisle who have taken donations from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“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”, said student, Emma Gonzales, at a weekend rally.

Some pupils have vowed not to return to classes until new legislation is passed, The Washington Post reported.

A Democratic Hawaii senator, Brian Schatz, praised the teenagers speaking out and tweeted: “These kids have more moral clarity than the entire United States House of Representatives.

“We passed laws and rules to make cars safer and fewer people die now. Laws can work if you write them correctly.”

The students have said their campaign is not directed specifically at either Republicans or Democrats.

Cameron Kasky, 17, said: ”Any politician on either side who is taking money from the NRA is responsible for events like this.”

One student, 15-year-old Anthony Borges, has won praise for shielding his classmates from bullets as they fled the gunman.

A witness said Anthony was the last of a group of 20 to enter a classroom in a bid to hide when, as he tried to lock the door, he was shot five times but did not move out of the way.

Broward County Sheriff's Office said the teen was recovering in hospital but faced a number of operations.

A number of young people have criticised Donald Trump’s response to the killing.

On Sunday, the President tweeted: “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

In response Kyra Parrow, a senior at Stoneman Douglas, said: “My friends were brutally murdered and you have the nerve to make this about Russia. I cannot believe this.”

Aly Sheehy tweeted: “17 of my classmates are gone. That’s 17 futures, 17 children, and 17 friends stolen. But you’re right, it always has to be about you.” She later urged a follower: “Don’t let this die down. We will be the change, but we need the help of you all.”

Florida shooting: Grieving mother demands Trump acts to stop guns getting into the hands of children

Students also planned a demonstration in Tallahassee, Florida’s capital, on Wednesday to call attention to gun control, mental health issues and school safety.

On the same day Mr Trump is due to host a “listening session” with high school students and teachers, a week on from the killing to which, police say, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz has confessed.

The gunman used an AR-15 assault-style rifle he had bought legally and stormed the school with several extra magazines of ammunition.

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