Published: Mon, February 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Students seize control of gun debate, plan walkouts and march

Students seize control of gun debate, plan walkouts and march

Students Kelsey Friend (L) and David Hogg recount their stories about yesterday's mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed, on February 15, 2018 in Parkland, Florida.

Stunned by last week's bloodiest high school shooting in USA history, students across the country were mobilizing on Sunday for stronger gun laws, while Florida officials contemplated when to reopen their badly shaken school.

The action is called "March For Our Lives" and the website states their mission is to prevent any more school shootings. "Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!"

On Jan. 5, more than a month before the shooting, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it got a tip about suspect Nikolas Cruz, who has been charged in the attack on his former high school but that the agency had failed to follow up on the call.

Mr Cruz had been diagnosed with autism, a neurological disorder that often leads to social awkwardness and isolation, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

"We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy", he said.

"At this point, I don't even know if the adults in power who are funded by the NRA, I don't think we need them anymore, because they are going to be gone by the midterm election", Gonzalez said on "Face the Nation" on CBS. "We are so grateful to have this opportunity to advocate for gun control, mental health, school safety, & more", Jaclyn Corin, Douglas' junior class president, said on Twitter.

Another student, Emma Gonzalez, said on ABC's "This Week" that the students want to talk to political leaders, including Trump, about gun control. A chant started up among those gathered: "Shame on you!" "But there are people out there who told me, 'I don't wanna go to bed tonight with him alive.' So the death penalty has to be considered, and that's not my call".

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"Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate, seated funded by the NRA, telling us nothing could have ever been done to prevent this, we call BS".

"You know, we're marching because it's not just schools, it's movie theatres, it's concerts, it's nightclubs", student Alex Wind said on NBC's "Meet the Press".

However, Broward Public Defender Howard Finklestein said that Cruz would plead guilty and spare the South Florida Community a trial which would force the families to relive the horrifying details of what unfolded.

"The fact that we can't go to school and feel safe every day, when we're supposed to feel safe, is a problem", said Fabiana Corsa, a Florida high school student who attended the Fort Lauderdale gathering.

Just a short drive from the anti-gun protest in Florida, other Americans were stocking their private arsenals at a gun show like this 2016 Miami weapons market.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said the FBI's failure was "unacceptable" and called for the resignation of FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Cruz was reported to have been investigated by police and state officials as far back as 2016 after slashing his arm in a social media video, and saying he wanted to buy a gun.

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