Survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, came together to make an emotional plea for gun control reform on Wednesday night at a town hall hosted by CNN.
Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Stoneman Douglas, where 17 people were shot and killed last week, confronted NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch at the event, asking her about the organization’s position on bump stocks and making it more difficult to purchase certain weapons.
“Dana Loesch, I want you to know that we will support your two children in the way that you will not,” Gonzalez said, referring to gun control.
“The shooter at our school obtained weapons that he used on us legally. Do you believe that it should be harder to obtain the semi-automatic and – – weapons and the modifications for these weapons to make them fully automatic like bump stocks?” asked Gonzalez, who has been outspoken in her opposition to semiautomatic rifles.
After Loesch replied that the NRA is waiting on the Justice Department to make a ruling on bump stocks, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel interrupted to say: “I understand you’re standing up for the NRA and I understand that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
“But, you just told this group of people that you are standing up for them. You’re not standing up for them, until you say I want less weapons,” he said to applause.
Gonzalez was joined by thousands of community members who rallied to demand change from Washington and the NRA at the event also attended by Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson and Rep. Ted Deutch.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the Florida shooting, also confronted Rubio on his opposition to gun control legislation.
“Your comments this week and those of our president have been pathetically weak,” Guttenberg said. “So you and I are now eye to eye. Because I want to like you, 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.”
Rubio repeated his initial response to the massacre at Stoneman Douglas, saying, “The problems we are facing here today cannot be solved by gun laws alone.”
An emotional Guttenberg responded: “Sen. Rubio, my daughter, running down the hallway at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, was shot in the back with an assault weapon, the weapon of choice.”
“It is too easy to get. It is a weapon of war,” he said.