Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors of this week's latest school shooting, addressed an anti-gun rally in Ft. Lauderdale today. It was heartbreaking -- and powerful.
"We are going to be the last mass shooting," she vowed.
"Just like that, we are going to change the law. That's going to be Marjory Stoneman Douglas in that textbook and it's going to be due to the tireless effort of the school board, and most importantly the students. The students. The students who are dead, the students still in the hospital, the students who are now suffering from PTSD. The students who had panic attacks during the vigil because the helicopters who wouldn't leave us alone, hovering over the school 24 hours a day," Gonzalez said.
She addressed Trump’s tweet about notifying authorities, saying they had alerted the authorities about Cruz time and time again and that for students who had known him over the years, “it was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter.”
"Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter. Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him, you didn't know this kid! Okay? We did. We know that they're claiming that there are mental health issues and I am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this isn't just a mental health issue.
"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? The fault of the people who let him buy the guns in the first place. Those at the gun shows, the people who encouraged him to buy accessories for his guns to make them fully automatic. The people who didn't take them away from him when they knew he expressed homicidal tendencies. And I am not talking about the FBI. I'm talking about the people that he lived with. I'm talking about the neighbors who saw him outside holding guns.
"If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I'm going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association. And you want to know something? It doesn't matter because I already know. $30 million.
"And divided by the number of gunshot victims in the United States in the one and a half months in 2018 alone, that comes out to being $5,800. Is that how much these people are worth to you, Trump?
"If you don't prevent any of this from coming, from continuing to occur, that number of gunshot victims will go up and the number they are worth will go down. We will be worthless to you.
"To every politician taking donations from the NRA, shame on you. If your money was as threatened as us, would your first thought be, 'how is this going to reflect on my campaign? Which should I choose?' Or if you choose us, and if you answered us, will you act like it for once? You know what would be a good way to act like it? I have an example how not to act like it. In February of 2017, one year ago, President Trump repealed an Obama-era regulation that would have made it easier to stop the sale of firearms to people with certain mental illnesses. From the interactions that I had had with the shooter before the shooting and the information that I currently know about him, I don't really know if he was mentally ill, but I wrote this before I heard what Delaney said. Delaney said he was diagnosed.
"I don't need a psychologist and i don't need to be a psychologist to know repealing that regulation was a really dumb idea. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa was the sole sponsor on this bill that stops the FBI from performing background checks on people adjudicated to be mentally ill, and now he's stating for the record, well, it's a shame that the FBI isn't doing background checks on these mentally ill people, well, duh, you took that opportunity away last year!
"The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice, and our parents, to call BS. Companies trying to make caricatures of the teenagers nowadays, saying all we are is self-involved and trend-obsessed and they hush us into submission when our message doesn't reach the ears of the nation.
"We are prepared to call BS. Politicians, politicians who sit in their gilded houses and senate seated funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have ever been done to prevent this, we call BS! They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. we call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. No, they say that no laws could have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don't know what we're talking, we're too young to understand how the government works, we call BS.
"Register to vote, contact your local congresspeople. We can save lives."