Emma Gonzalez

Survivor Emma Gonzalez demands stricter gun laws at Florida rally

“We are prepared to call BS,” Emma Gonzalez said in her powerful speech on Saturday


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Nicole Karlis
February 17, 2018 11:05PM (UTC)

Emma Gonzalez delivered an emotional and powerful speech on Saturday at a rally demanding that U.S. lawmakers take action and impose stricter gun control laws. The senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School—who survived the shooting on Feb. 14 that claimed 17 lives—demanded a ban on guns, called out politicians who have received donations from the National Rifle Association, and said a focus on mental health is not enough to prevent mass shootings in America.

Here are a couple highlights from the transcript of her powerful speech via CNN:

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“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.

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.”

Later in the speech, crowd chanted “We call BS” to politicians that claim gun reform won’t prevent mass school shootings.

“The people in the government who were voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and our parents to call BS.Companies trying to make caricatures of the teenagers these days, saying that all we are 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 been done to prevent this, we call BS. They say 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 no laws could have prevented 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.”

Gonzalez is one of many teens and parents demanding gun control reform following the shooting. The Florida Moms Demand Action chapter said they will keep pushing to pass a legislation that will keep guns out of children's hands too.

Meanwhile, Donald and Melania Trump paid a visit to victims on Friday. Trump told reporters following the visit that it was "very sad something like that could happen." While he keeps claiming he’s working “with Congress on many fronts,” there’s been no indication that gun control reform laws have been addressed.

Watch Gonzalez's powerful speech here:

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Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a news writer at Salon. She covers health, science, tech and gender politics. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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