NOTE: Emma González is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the scene of last Wednesday’s horrific mass shooting that killed 17 people. Earlier today, the 18-year-old gave an impassioned speech at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale. Following is an excerpt.
If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association.
But, hey, you want to know something? It doesn’t matter, because I already know. Thirty million dollars. And divided by the number of gunshot 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 gunshot victims will go up and the number that they are worth will go down. And we will be worthless to you.
To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you.
[. . .] The people in the government who were voted into power are lying to us. And us kids and our parents seem to be the only ones who notice to call BS. Companies trying to make caricatures of the teenagers nowadays, saying that all we are is self-involved and trend-obsessed and they hush us into submission when our message doesn’t reach the ears of the nation, we are prepared to call BS. Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have ever been done to prevent this, we call BS. They say that tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. They say that no laws could have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call BS.
– Emma González
February 17, 2018
February 17, 2018
Related Off-site Links and Updates:
After Florida, I Had Lost Hope. Then I Saw Emma González – Suzanne Moore (The Guardian, February 19, 2018).
Emma Gonzalez Survived the Florida Shooting. Now She’s Taking on Trump and the NRA – Christal Hayes (USA Today, February 17, 2018).
School Shooting Survivor Emma González Speaks Out: "We Don't Want These People in Charge Anymore" – Elaine Aradillas (People, February 19, 2018).
Parkland Survivors Rip Politicians' "Pathetic" Responses – Lindsey Ellefson (CNN, February 20, 2018).
Change Is Coming in the 'BS' National Debate on Gun Violence – Eric Ortiz (Truthdig, February 19, 2018).
Florida School Shooting Survivors on Face the Nation – CBS News (February 18, 2018).
The Kids Are Going to Save You, America. There's No One Else Left to Do It – Bradley Burston (Haaretz, February 19, 2018).
Florida Shooting Survivors Announce National March Against Gun Violence – Cristiano Lima (Politico, February 18, 2018).
I Lost My Little Brother at Sandy Hook. Here’s What’s Different About the Florida Shooting – Danielle Vabner (The Huffington Post, February 19, 2018).
Gun Reform: Speaking Truth to Bullshit, Practicing Civility, and Effecting Change – Brené Brown (BrenéBrown.com, November 8, 2016).
Trump and Republicans Are Blaming Mental Health for America's Gun Problem After the Florida School Shooting — Here's Why They're Wrong – Michal Kranz and Hilary Brueck (Business Insider, February 15, 2018).
Here Are the Congressional Candidates Who Got the Most NRA Money in the 2016 Campaign, by State – Florida Is No. 3 – John W. Schoen (CNBC, February 15, 2018).
The NRA Invested Millions in These Politicians in 2016 – Heather Timmons (Quartz, February 14, 2018).
This is America: 9 out of 10 Public Schools Now Hold Mass Shooting Drills for Students – Alexia Fernández Campbell (Vox, February 16, 2018).
Are Dead Children the Price of Freedom? – Christian Christensen (Common Dreams, February 17, 2018).
Five Arguments Against Gun Control — and Why They Are All Wrong – Evan Defilippis and Devin Hughes (Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2016).
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• The Social Roots of Yet Another American Tragedy
• Something to Think About – December 14, 2012
• Quote of the Day – December 15, 2012
• “I Pray, I Pray”
• Prayer of the Week – June 19, 2016
• Quote of the Day – October 2, 2017
• Discerning and Embodying Sacred Presence in Times of Violence and Strife
• Questioning God's Benevolence in the Face of Tragedy
Image: Associated Press.