Survivors of the Parkland shooting spoke in La Jolla Sunday, promoting their book “Glimmer of Hope,” which details the foundational story of March for Our Lives and the students behind it.
On February 14, 2018, 17 people were killed when a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Brendan Duff and Sofie Whitney are both survivors and attended the Garfield Theatre in La Jolla with March for Our Lives.
They talked about how they were scheduled to speak at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla before the shooting in Virginia Beach and the Chabad of Poway.
They reminded the crowds that the shootings are another reminder gun violence is a problem.
“It was awful like it was my worst nightmare, it's everyone's worst nightmare,” Whitney said.
Whitney was a senior at MSDH and was in drama class, rehearsing for an upcoming performance when she heard the fire alarm.
“We walked out for the fire alarm after the song was over and we heard gunshots, and I remember not even thinking and just running back in the room," Whitney said. “After that happened it changed everything for me. It changed my outlook on life, on what I wanted to do and what was important to me and what I valued and what I wanted to come out of my career and my future."
The survivors wrote a chapter together that is featured in the book.
"It's about how we can galvanize our peers and how it takes a generation and focus on being able to create the change we all want to see,” Duff said.
Duff had graduated from MSDH when the shooting happened, but his brother was a freshman.
“That feeling of not being able to reach my brother, having him not answer is enough to drive me to want to do this for a very long time until we see significant change, so people don't have to do that," Duff said.
Both Whitney and Duff said they're working on getting students who are eligible to vote registered because it's important to teach students the importance of voting.