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#NeverAgain: How teen shooting survivors launched an anti-gun movement

Student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have quickly amplified the gun control debate.

by Milena Mikael-Debass
Feb 20 2018, 6:15pm

“Shame on you! Shame on you!” echoed the crowd in agreement as Emma González, a Parkland shooting survivor, called out President Trump on gun reform at a rally in Florida on Saturday.

The Fort Lauderdale event was among several over the weekend where survivors of last week's deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School made impassioned pleas to lawmakers, peers, and communities, after a teen gunman killed 17 and injured 14 others with an AR 15.

The teens' activism in the immediate aftermath of the shooting has already coalesced into the “Never Again” movement, with a clear message: They want stricter gun laws and they're “sick of the Florida lawmakers choosing money from the NRA over [their] safety.”

“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," said Gonzalez at the rally, wiping away tears as she spoke. Part of her 11-minute speech went viral, trending over the weekend.

Cameron Kasky, one of the movement’s founders, appeared on CNN along with four fellow students, to send a warning to elected officials: “You’re either with us or against us.”

During an ABC interview, Kasky addressed criticisms of having a gun control debate after a mass shooting. "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."

The group's nationwide “March for Our Lives” protest, slated for March 24, is even drawing celebrity support, including a $500,000 donation from George Clooney and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. There's also a National School Walkout planned for March 14.

The "Never Again" activists were heading to the Florida capital Tallahassee on Tuesday to call for stricter gun legislation at the state level.