One of the survivors of the Parkland shooting has penned a powerful essay vehemently opposing the idea that teachers might need to carry guns in the classroom to protect their students and themselves against potential attackers.
Emma Gonzalez, 18, was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when a mass shooting claimed the lives of 17 people on Valentine’s Day.
In the days after the massacre, Emma emerged as one of the leading voices making the case for stricter gun laws, taking President Donald Trump to task in a powerful speech during a rally in Fort Lauderdale.
Speaking out: Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez, 18, has penned a powerful essay vehemently opposing the idea that teachers might need to carry guns in the classroom
Advcoate: Emma has emerged as one of the leading voices making the case for stricter gun laws, taking President Trump to task in a powerful speech during a rally in Fort Lauderdale
Now, the student has further argued the case for responsible gun ownership, arguing in favor of more thorough checks on those looking to purchase weapons, and describing how schools can create safer environments without arming their teachers.
Emma began her essay in Harper’s Bazaar by introducing herself in a few simple words, writing: ‘My name is Emma Gonzalez. I’m 18 years old, Cuban and bisexual. I’m so indecisive that I can’t pick a favorite color, and I’m allergic to 12 things.
‘I draw, paint, crochet, sew, embroider—anything productive I can do with my hands while watching Netflix.
‘But none of this matters anymore.’
Shen then spoke out against those who ‘have become complacent in a senseless injustice that occurs all around them’ and politicians who ‘have become more easily swayed by money than by the people who voted them into office’.
‘What matters is that my friends are dead, along with hundreds upon hundreds of others all over the United States,’ she added.
Stance: The student (pictured returning to Majory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday) has further argued the case for responsible gun ownership
Position: Specifically, Emma (pictured earlier this month in Fort Lauderdale) spoke out against the president’s suggestion that teachers should carry weapons in the classroom
Emma then pointed out that ‘it should not be easier to purchase a gun than it is to obtain a driver’s license, and military-grade weapons should not be accessible in civilian settings’.
Her essay focused on the AR-15, the semiautomatic rifle that has, along with its other versions by various manufacturers, become a common thread in America’s deadliest mass shootings.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, is accused of using an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle to gun down 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
‘You don’t drive a NASCAR on the street, no matter how fun it might be, just like you don’t need an AR-15 to protect yourself when walking home at night. No one does,’ Emma added.
She clarified that she and her fellow advocates ‘don’t want people to have their guns taken away’, but want people ‘to be more responsible’.
Essay: ‘Teachers do not need to be armed with guns to protect their classes, they need to be armed with a solid education in order to teach their classes,’ Emma (pictured last year) wrote
Measures: The student (pictured earlier this month at a CNN town hall meeting) also called for ‘increased mental health care for all those who need it’
Specifically, she spoke out against the president’s suggestion that teachers should carry weapons in the classroom in exchange for a bonus.
His daughter Ivanka Trump has backed the idea, saying it was not ‘bad’ and warranted further discussion.
‘Teachers do not need to be armed with guns to protect their classes, they need to be armed with a solid education in order to teach their classes,’ Emma wrote.
‘That’s the only thing that needs to be in their job description. People say metal detectors would help.
‘Tell that to the kids who already have metal detectors at school and are still victims of gun violence. If you want to help arm the schools, arm them with school supplies, books, therapists, things they actually need and can make use of.’
The student also called for ‘increased mental health care for all those who need it—including the angry, frustrated men who almost always commit these crimes’.
‘Mental illness and gun violence are not directly correlated, but when the two go hand in hand, Americans—often children—lose their lives,’ she added.
‘We don’t need the NRA’s excuses, we need the NRA to finally stand up and use its power to supply the American people with something they deserve.’