Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have had it with all the thoughts and prayers.
While politicians offered familiar sentiments in the wake of the mass shooting in southern Florida that left 17 dead, students vented their rage at those who appear to be doing little to stop the next shooting from happening.
“My message to lawmakers and Congress is: Please, take action,” said David Hogg, a student who survived Wednesday's mass shooting, on CNN. “What we really need is action. We can say, ‘We’re gonna do all these things. Thoughts and prayers.’ What we need more than that is action. Please. This is the 18th [school shooting] this year. We’re children. You guys are the adults.”
The day after the shooting, President Trump offered his “thoughts and prayers” in a tweet, and House Speaker Paul Ryan said the shooting shouldn’t threaten gun ownership. Far-right pundit Tomi Lahren scolded the Left for making the tragedy about gun control.
But young people identifying as students at Douglas, along with scores of other young people, also have something to say: Now is the time to talk about gun control.
“I don’t want your condolences,” tweeted one student at Donald Trump. “Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But Gun control will prevent it from happening again.”
More young people tweeted calls for action and gun control.
The alleged shooter, Nikolas de Jesus Cruz, was expelled from the school last school year. There were numerous signs that Cruz was capable of great violence, including disturbing social media posts. Cruz was reportedly not allowed on the high school campus with a backpack on him.
In a tweet, President Trump suggested the shooting might have been somehow prevented: “Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem,” he tweeted.
Cover image: Anxious family members waiting for word from students following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)