School shooting survivors hit NRA-friendly pols with ultimatum - MRCAESAR.COM

Sunday, 18 February 2018

School shooting survivors hit NRA-friendly pols with ultimatum

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and parents hold signs near the school in Parkland, Fla. on Sunday. (GERALD HERBERT/AP)
Shut up and listen!
That’s the message seething students have for President Trump and other gun-friendly lawmakers, demanding they stop making excuses and immediately pass reforms in the aftermath of the Florida bloodshed — or face being voted out of office.
“Children are dying, and their blood is on your hands because of that. Please take action. Stop going on vacation in Mar-a-Lago,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg told Trump Sunday via an interview with Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”
“Take action. Work with Congress. Your party controls both the House and Senate. Take action. Get some bills passed. And for God’s sake, let’s save some lives,” the student continued.
Hogg, 17, and his classmates are part of a national groundswell of student anger over gun violence after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz walked into his former Parkland, Fla., school Wednesday and gunned down 17 students and staffers.
Cameron Kasky, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, appears on “Meet the Press“ Sunday. (ABC'S “MEET THE PRESS“)
The high schoolers are putting the politicians who have taken donations from the National Rifle Association on notice.
“People who are being funded by the NRA are not going to be allowed to remain in office when midterm elections roll around. They’re going to be voted out of office. Incumbency rates are going to drop,” high school senior Emma Gonzalez said.
Teens also took to Twitter to slam the President for his tone-deaf tweets blaming the FBI for not acting on warnings about Cruz because agents were distracted by the Russia probe.
“17 innocent people were brutally murdered at my school, a place where they should have felt safe. Their lives were gone in an instant. You are the President of the United States and you have the audacity to put this on Russia as an excuse. I guess I should expect that from you,” tweeted @tayloryon_.
Karissa Saenz, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, holds a sign that reads, "White House You are Killing Our Future!,' on Feb. 18, in Parkland, Fla. (JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES)
Trump ignored the criticism, but he found time Sunday to tweet about the Daytona 500 and the Russia probe.
Hundreds of students from the high school have pledged to rally at the state capitol of Tallahassee on Wednesday as part of the #NeverAgain movement.
Jaclyn Corin, 17, junior class president who survived the shooting, said she and her classmates want a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
“The NRA brainwashes us to think these rules and laws can’t work here,” Jaclyn said. “We think they can.”
Students are planning demonstrations across the country to pressure lawmakers into taking action on gun control. (RHONA WISE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Trump, who has focused on Cruz’s mental health and dodged gun control questions, has agreed to meet with Florida students and staff on Wednesday for a “listening session.” The White House did not specify whether Douglas high school students would be included.
Other demonstrations are planned across the country.
On March 14, the one-month anniversary of the shooting, Women’s March organizers are encouraging a nationwide 17-minute walkout in every high school at 10 a.m. to protest “Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods,” according to the group’s Facebook page.
Douglas high school students have also set up a “March for Our Lives” protest for March 24 in Washington to pressure politicians supported by the National Rifle Association to crack down on easily accessible guns.
A memorial is seen at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday. (JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES)
“My message for the people in office is, you’re either with us or against us,” shooting survivor Cameron Kasky said Sunday on CNN.
“We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around,” he said. “This is about us creating a badge of shame for any politicians accepting money from the NRA and using us as collateral.”
And on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine, Colo., massacre in which 12 students and one teacher were killed, The Network for Public Education is encouraging students to join another national high school walkout.
The calls for mass protest come a day after students, families and activists rallied Saturday for stricter gun laws following the Florida school massacre.
Maria Cristina and Vincent Collazo pray at the fence that runs around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday. (JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES)
Cruz, who had been diagnosed with autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and has confessed to the crime, officials said.
Despite numerous run-ins with law enforcement and several state agencies that knew of his mental health issues and his gun ownership, Cruz was still legally able to buy the AR-15 used in last week’s tragic attack.
The response to students’ call for bipartisan support for gun control has fallen flat so far.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sidestepped calls for federal legislation but told radio station WFOR that the Florida Legislature should consider a law that would allow police or family members to take away the guns of a person who appears to pose a danger.
The NRA did not respond to calls for comment.
Teen survivors of the high school massacre said they were forced to march for gun control because members of Congress won’t act.
“This kind of stuff can't just happen,” student Alex Wind said on “Meet the Press.”
“You know, we are marching for our lives, we’re marching for the 17 lives we lost.”

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