Can These Stoneman Douglas High School Students Finally Break the Gun Control Deadlock?

Students are planning nationwide #MarchForOurLives protests.

ABC News

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Five students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, made their way through all the major morning talks shows Sunday, appearing on NBC, ABCCBS, Fox, and CNN. They announced nationwide marches for gun control next month and ripped politicians, including President Donald Trump, who benefit from the National Rifle Association’s political spending while refusing to act to strengthen gun laws.

“Now is the time to get on the right side of this,” Emma Gonzalez, one of the students, said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “Because this is not something we are going to be let [you] sweep under the carpet.” Gonzalez said she was speaking directly to Trump, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R), and other lawmakers who have benefited from pro-gun money.

“These people who are being funded by the NRA are not going to be allowed to remain in office when midterm elections roll around,” she said. “They are going to be voted out of office.”

Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, Alex Wind, and Jaclyn Corin are among the survivors of the shooting that killed 17 people at the high school on Wednesday. They drew praise from network and cable news hosts as they offered pointed advice for lawmakers and older Americans.

On Sunday afternoon, the White House announced that Trump will hold what it called a listening session on gun violence with high school students this coming Wednesday. The White House did not say which students Trump would meet with or if he would speak with the students organizing the marches. Some Stoneman Douglas students and parents have said they don’t want to meet with Trump, the Daily Beast reported Friday.

“We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around,” Kasky said on CNN’s State of the Union.

“This is about us begging for our lives,” Kasky said. “This isn’t about the GOP. This isn’t about the Democrats. This is about us creating a badge of shame for any politicians accepting money from the NRA and using us as collateral.”

The students said they are planning are series of demonstrations called “March for Our Lives” that will take place around the country on March 24. It will include a rally in Washington. Other students are planning a nationwide school walkout on April  20—the 19th anniversary of the school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado—to highlight lawmakers’ failure to address the problem.

“We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks,” Gonzalez said during a speech at a rally on Saturday. “Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because…we are going to be the last mass shooting.”

Other students from the school on Sunday criticized Trump for a tweet in which he blamed the the ongoing Russia probe for the FBI’s failure to act on warnings about the alleged gunman. Trump’s tweet drew widespread condemnation.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.