Following the horrific shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week, the student survivors are calling for a march on Washington to demand immediate action on gun control reform.
Calling it "The March for Our Lives," the teenagers organizing the protest said on Sunday that the protest is scheduled to take place on March 24. The plans are to include students “in every single major city” in hopes of sending a message to the White House about how the substantive improvement of preexisting gun control laws could, quite literally, save lives.
“We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around," junior Cameron Kasky told Raddatz. “This isn’t about the GOP; this isn’t about the Democrats. This is about us creating a badge of shame for any politicians who are accepting money from the NRA and using us as collateral."
David Hogg, another survivor, agreed, adding: "It’s time for us to stand up and take action and hold our elected officials responsible."
On Saturday, Marjory Stoneman Douglas senior Emma Gonzalez made an impassioned cry for legislative reform at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, "calling BS" on Trump, lawmakers, and the NRA for their inaction and citing the necessity for immediate legislative reform. She joined Kasky, Hogg, and two other classmates in this call to action, saying: "We are going to be the difference."
In addition to the march, momentum is also building for an official school walkout on March 14. Planned in part by the Women's March organizers, the act of protest would mark the one-month anniversary of the South Florida shooting.
Together, the young survivors of last week's shooting are determined to harness these upcoming protests to incite a turning point in the national debate over gun laws and force the government to get on board. As high school junior Cameron Kasky concluded: "My message for the people in office is: You're either with us, or against us."
The day after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, former President Barack Obama responded to the attack on Twitter. In Thursday's post, he expressed his sympathy for the victims, survivors, and their families, before calling for gun control reform.
"We are grieving with Parkland. But we are not powerless. Caring for our kids is our first job. And until we can honestly say that we're doing enough to keep them safe from harm, including long overdue, common-sense gun safety laws that most Americans want, then we have to change," he wrote.
Obama's response to the shooting took a markedly different tone than that of his successor. Immediately after news broke of the shooting on Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted:
"My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school."
On Thursday morning, Trump took to Twitter once again, this time to comment on the shooter's mental health and history of behavioral issues. Later that day, he made a public address about the tragedy in which, yet again, he failed to mention firearms or gun control.