The survivors of the terrifying shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. are using their tragedy to help spark change in this country's controversial gun laws. They, especially the students, are already making a difference that can inspire us all. Most recently, the students, parents and teachers put up a powerful fight during CNN's "Stand Up" town hall on Wednesday night.
Frank Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime Guttenberg was one of the 17 victims killed in the shooting, was one of the biggest heroes of the night as he stood up to Florida Congressional Senator Marco Rubio. He called the senator and Donald Trump's comments regarding plans to tackle gun violence "pathetically weak." "Look at me and tell me. Guns were the factor in the hunting of our kids in this school this week. And look at me and tell me you accept it and you will work with us to do something about guns," Guttenberg asked the senator as the audience gave him a standing ovation.
Another highlight from the two-hour session came from a student named Cameron Kasky, who confronted Rubio with a bold and timely question. “Can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?” he asked. "The positions I hold on these issues of the Second Amendment, I've held since the day I entered office in the city of West Miami as an elected official," Rubio responded. "People buy into my agenda, and I do support the Second Amendment."
The fearlessness of these students is remarkable, and shows that (contrary to many people's beliefs) the younger generation are aware of the Trump's administration's wrongdoings. And they will not stop until gun control is properly addressed by Congress. Celebrities have also been in tune to the conversation and have applauded the survivor's efforts. "So moved and impressed by these teens their strength to fight and stand up to more evil even after going through something so traumatic," Tove Lo tweeted.
"We don’t pay our teachers enough to TEACH. Now these fools want them to double as armed security. Meanwhile our kids are the active shooter drill generation," John Legend said. Previously, Justin Bieber, Hayley Williams, Lady Gaga, Zendaya and others shared information about the upcoming marches on Twitter. George and Amal Clooney have also donated $500,000 to the cause, with Oprah recently matching the couples' hefty donation.
"George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives,'" Oprah tweeted. "These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard." The young survivors have planned two events—the National School Walkout on March 14 and the March for Our Lives on March 24—where they will continue to use their voices to put a spotlight on this country's dangerous gun laws.
George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard.— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) February 20, 2018
Sen. Rubio is confronted by Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting: “Look at me and tell me guns were the factor in the hunting of our kids ... and you will work with us to do something about guns” #StudentsStandUp https://t.co/vjDOxP1usk— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 22, 2018
"Student Cameron Kasky asks, 'Senator Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?' to rapturous applause from the audience." #StudentsStandUp pic.twitter.com/I3LJ2EJKES— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 22, 2018
We don’t pay our teachers enough to TEACH. Now these fools want them to double as armed security. Meanwhile our kids are the active shooter drill generation.— John Legend (@johnlegend) February 21, 2018
The fact this is up for discussion is totally absurd. But this is a good thread to hopefully obliterate the COMPLETELY LUDICROUS idea that arming teachers is the solution to school shootings. https://t.co/yf4jHfpCOR— John Legend (@johnlegend) February 21, 2018
So moved and impressed by these teens ❤️ their strength to fight and stand up to more evil even after going through something so traumatic #StudentsStandUp— Tove Lo (@ToveLo) February 22, 2018
It's crazy the kids in our country have to ask politicians to be kept alive .. https://t.co/gZ9qrv1tBV— dip (@diplo) February 22, 2018
Below, watch Zara Larsson explain why she supports teens speaking out about politics: