Students from Parkland, Florida, sent love to the victims of the latest school shooting, in southern Texas, on Friday, attacked the NRA and renewed calls for the stricter gun control that they have been demanding since the massacre at their own school.
Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, immediately went after the National Rifle Association, tweeting, “Prepare to watch the NRA boast about getting higher donations. Prepare to see students rise up and be called ‘civil terrorists’ and crisis actors. Prepare for the right-wing media to attack the survivors.”
The NRA, as it has done in the past, issued no statement immediately after the Texas shooting, either on Twitter or on its website.
On Friday, a gunman identified by law enforcement as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School, and wounded another 10, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said. Most of the victims were students. Police also reported finding what were thought to be explosive devices at the school and off campus.
The latest shooting elicited thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families from prominent politicians, and that was not enough for the students from Parkland, where 17 students were killed in February when a former student allegedly opened fire at the school.
Many of those students have been demanding stricter gun control measures and have taken on the NRA and its donations to lawmakers who have blocked measures to enact stronger gun laws. They organized rallies across the country under the banner of “March for Our Lives” but also came under attack from opponents to gun control who questioned whether they were really students or just actors taking advantage of a tragedy to push their views.
On Friday, “March for Our Lives” tweeted, “Though this is the 22nd school shooting this year, we urge those reading this not to sweep it under the rug and forget. This is not the price of our freedom. This is the most fatal shooting since the one at our school and tragedies like this will continue to happen unless action is taken.”
Another Parkland survivor, David Hogg, tweeted about politicians and the coming elections in November.
“Get ready for two weeks of media coverage of politicians acting like they give a shit when in reality they just want to boost their approval ratings before midterms,” he wrote.
President Donald Trump said Friday morning that he was grieving for the loss of life and sending support and love to everyone affected by the horrific attack at Santa Fe High School. He said his administration was determined to protect students, secure schools and keep weapons out of the those who pose a threat to themselves and others but provided no details.
“To the students, families teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High, we’re with you at this tragic hour and we will be with you forever,” he said.
That message fell short for Jaclyn Corin, the junior class president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “Like a broken record,” she tweeted.
“Our children are being MURDERED and you’re treating this like a game,” she wrote in response to an earlier tweet from Trump saying early reports from the Texas shooting did not look good.
One of the most outspoken of the Stoneman Douglas students, Emma Gonzalez, tweeted to the students at Santa Fe High School that they deserved peace during of their lives, not only in an epitaph on their tombstone.
“You deserve more than Thoughts and Prayers, and after supporting us by walking out we will be there to support you by raising up your voices,” she wrote.
And Ryan Deitsch, a Parkland senior, asked: “Politics aside, how many more have to die before we can change?”
“I am broken up by this tragedy but refuse to allow myself to sit waiting for more heartbreak & bloodshed,” he wrote. “All #SantaFeHighSchool students are open to DM me or any of my friends if they need help or want to amplify their voices. We are here for you as you were for us.”
And he posted photos of Santa Fe students in April supporting the Parkland students by participating in a school walkout demanding an end to gun violence.