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Emma Gonzalez, Parkland survivor, blasts NRA and Trump in jaw-dropping speech
Emma Gonzalez was in the school auditorium on Wednesday as Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people with an AR-15-like rifle. The Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High senior doesn’t want lawmakers who took money from the National Rifle Association to forget.
During a rally in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on Saturday, Gonzalez delivered a passionate and incensed speech directed at President Donald Trump, tweets, and talking points. She pledged that the Parkland shooting would be a turning point.
“To any politician who is taking donations from the NRA—shame on you,” Gonzalez said, sparking “shame on you” chants from the crowd.
And Gonzalez has plans if the president reaches out to console her:
“I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association… It doesn’t matter because I already know: $30 million. And divided by the number of gun-shot victims in the United States in the one and one-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 do anything to prevent this from continuing to occur that number of gun-shot victims will go up and the number that they are worth will go down. And we will be worthless to you.”
According to the Center for Responsive Politics via the Los Angeles Times, the NRA spent $30 million in 2016 to get Trump elected. Gonzalez also blasted the president for quietly killing in 2017 an Obama-era law that made it more difficult for people with mental illness to buy guns. The White House has since refused to release photos of Trump signing that repeal.
“Us kids seem to be the only ones who notice,” Gonzalez said.
Here’s the speech from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez at an anti-gun rally happening today in Fort Lauderdale https://t.co/CyfMnPDAvW // https://t.co/hgewZy4Cxf https://t.co/gssAmGczuH— Joshua Chavers (@JoshuaChavers) February 17, 2018
“We are going to change the law,” she vowed, and all because of “the students who are dead. The students who are still in the hospital. The students who are now suffering from PTSD.”
Gonzalez later read aloud a Trump tweet verbatim: “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018
She then responded to it: “We did. Time and time again. Since he was in middle school. It was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter.”
She likewise criticized the president’s immediate rush to frame the school shooting as chiefly a mental health issue. But Gonzalez said the shooting is “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 his accessories for his guns to make them fully automatic. The people who didn’t take them away from him when they knew that he expressed homicidal tendencies.”
According to the New York Times, one video of the speech was viewed 100,000 times-plus just hours after it went live.
Ramon Ramirez is the news director, and formerly the Dot's entertainment editor and evening editor. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Grantland, Washington City Paper, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Monitor.