Ever since a gunman ravaged their school nearly a month ago, the student survivors of the horrific Parkland school shooting have been speaking out and demanding tighter gun control laws.
Here are five moments when they made other students around the country proud to have them speaking on their behalf.
1. Cameron Kasky at CNN’s Town Hall
On Feb. 14, 2018, Kasky never would have imagined that his school in Parkland, Florida would be the site of one of the deadliest school shootings in America’s history. Despite this, he has been one of the hundreds of students around the country speaking out and demanding gun control.
He is credited with the start of the #NeverAgain movement when, after the shooting happened, he took some of his friends to his house and they pioneered the cause.
Kasky also spoke on behalf of many students around the country at CNN’s Town Hall. His most notable moment during the Town Hall session was when he asked Senator Marco Rubio, “Can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA in the future?”
He describes to Senator Rubio that it isn’t about who is a Democrat and who is a Republican, but it’s about someone who is willing to start change and make a difference, not about people who “prefer money.”
Kasky is speaking on behalf of all of the students in America who feel unsafe in their schools because of the permissive gun laws that this country has and the lawmakers that refuse to change them, despite the alarming amount of gun violence in schools.
2. Emma Gonzalez at the Broward County Courthouse rally
A senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Gonzalez caught the attention of students across the country during her speech at the Broward County Courthouse, which was holding a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
She delivered the speech with tears flowing down her face, but with courage and determination in her voice. She called “BS” on the politicians who say that “tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence” and that “a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun.”
Gonzalez passionately spoke for those who were killed in the shooting in Florida as well as for all of those who have been killed by gun violence in the past, demanding that the country fix the laws that enable any person to have access to a semi-automatic weapon.
She is also credited with starting the #NeverAgain movement and the March for Our Lives, which is an organization that is fighting for the regulation of guns and planned several marches on Washington.
Gonzalez said so much of what other students around the country, who also wish for tighter gun control, have been thinking. She and her fellow classmates who survived the horrific shooting are demanding that the country’s lawmakers create policies and change, and stop only sending thoughts and prayers.
3. Sam Zeif’s talk with the President
Zeif was joined by other victims and survivors of mass shootings in Washington D.C. where President Trump invited them to have a listening session. Sam took it upon himself to express to the President his feelings on gun control in America and how horrifically easy it is for anyone to buy a military-grade firearm.
Zeif, sadly, lost his best friend in the shooting and said, “I don’t understand. I turned 18 the day after, woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. And I don’t understand why I could still go into a store and buy a weapon of war.”
He was brave enough to go on and say that despite respecting all of the constitution’s amendments, including the second amendment, the weapons that people are using to kill other people are “not weapons of defense, but…weapons of war.”
Zeif spoke directly to the President, questioning the gun laws in the country while mourning the loss of his best friend at the same time. He made his fellow classmates and other students around the country, who are also calling for tighter gun control, extremely proud and inspired by his words.
4. David Hogg in his interview with CBS News
Hogg is another student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who has taken it upon himself to speak out about gun violence and gun control.
For speaking out, though, he was attacked along with Emma Gonzalez and Cameron Kasky for being “crisis actors,” which he’s taken full offense to. He’s replied to the controversy in statements like, “It’s annoying. I hate it” and “Am I an actor? No. Am I a witness? Yes.”
Hogg made it on several different news sources, speaking out for the victims and survivors of all mass shootings and calling for tighter gun control.
In an interview with CBS News on the day that the students of Stoneman Douglas went back to school after the shooting, he explained the stance that he and those involved in the #NeverAgain movement have on gun control.
He said: “We are not trying to take your guns. In the same way that the first amendment makes it so that you can say what you want, almost wherever you want, but there [are] limitations on that, where you can’t scream fire in a crowded theatre, you shouldn’t be able to get a weapon of mass destruction like these guns are if you are a mentally unstable individual or somebody with a criminal history or someone who has committed acts of domestic violence in the past, those are the people we are trying to prevent from getting guns.”
5. Jaclyn Corin and the creation of the #WhatIf video
Corin, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is one of several students who created the #WhatIf video, which went viral and accumulated over one million views in three days.
The video features Corin asking, “What if leading politicians valued children’s lives over dollars?,” “What if 19-year-olds didn’t have access to weapons of war?” and other rhetorical questions, followed by videos of the actions Corin mentions actually happening.
This video sparked a revolution in many schools across the country and has added to the heated conversation on gun control in the United States.