A Florida high school shooting survivor penned a poignant and emotional essay in Harper’s Bazaar calling for stricter gun laws and hitting back at critics who have brushed off student activists’ opinions.
Emma Gonzalez, an 18-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., became a household name after she gave a rousing speech at a rally the weekend following the Valentine’s Day shooting, which left 17 people dead. Gonzalez now has a verified Twitter account with more than 1 million followers and uses the platform — as well as appearances on news networks and TV talk shows — to lobby for stronger firearm laws.
In an essay splashed across the top of Harper’s Bazaar’s website Tuesday morning, Gonzalez continued her push to limit guns.
“At the end of the day, we don’t want people to have their guns taken away. We just want the people to be more responsible,” she wrote. “You don’t drive a NASCAR on the street, no matter how fun it might be, just like you don’t need an AR-15 to protect yourself when walking home at night.”
She railed against the idea of giving certain teachers guns, which President Trump has said he wants to consider.
“Teachers do not need to be armed with guns to protect their classes, they need to be armed with a solid education in order to teach their classes,” Gonzalez wrote.
She also hit back at those who have criticized or belittled the students’ activism.
“We are children who are being expected to act like adults, while the adults are proving themselves to behave like children,” she wrote. “Adults like us when we have strong test scores, but they hate us when we have strong opinions.”
She also pointed out that many of the students speaking out lost friends and mentors.
“Adults are saying that children are emotional. I should hope so — some of our closest friends were taken before their time because of a senseless act of violence that should never have occurred,” she wrote.
Gonzalez also put out a call for readers to join in on the March for Our Lives on March 24 to protest gun violence. The main march will take place in Washington, D.C., but several other marches have been planned in solidarity that day nationwide, including in Boston. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 47,000 people had marked that they were “interested” in attending the Boston event, and more than 11,000 people said they planned to attend.