Human Rights

Florida Student Survivors Announce 'March For Our Lives': Here’s a Time to Talk about Gun Control

“This is about the adults. We feel neglected, and at this point, you’re either with us or against us."

Photo Credit: Screen Capture from Twitter

Surviving students of the Valentine's Day school shooting in Parkland, Florida, have set a date for lawmakers, and everyone else in the country to discuss gun control: March 24.

"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?" 11th-grader Cameron Kasky told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "This is it."

"This is about the adults. We feel neglected, and at this point, you're either with us or against us," Kasky said.

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"People are saying that it’s not time to talk about gun control, and we can respect that. Here’s a time: March 24, in every single city," he continued.

The demonstration set for next month in Washington D.C. is to be called the "March For Our Lives" Kasky explained Sunday, seated next to four of his classmates Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Alex Wind and Jaclyn Corin.

In the wake of last week's tragedy that claimed 17 lives, the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been the leading voices in calls for action from lawmakers, and have boldly expressed frustration over a nation gridlocked on the issue of guns, as Salon has previously reported.

"We’re going to be facing this with trepidation and determination, and we have an incredible support system around us. We are going to be the difference," Gonzalez said on CNN.

"This isn’t about the GOP. This isn’t about the Democrats," Kasky added. "Any politician on either side who is taking money from the NRA is responsible for events like this. "At the end of the day, the NRA [National Rifle Association] is fostering and promoting this gun culture."

Many have said that mass shootings in America have become routine, but Kasky highlighted the importance of creating "a new normal where there's a badge of shame on any politician who's accepting money from the NRA."

Despite the pleas from survivors, President Donald Trump has essentially remained quiet on gun control, focusing only on the issue of mental health. When he finally addressed the issue on Saturday in a tweet, he blamed the Democrats and said former President Barack Obama should have passed legislation when the party had full control for two years but "they didn’t want to, and now they just talk!"

 

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay.