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Emma Gonzalez, head of Gay-Straight Alliance who survived Parkland shooting, takes on NRA spokeswoman

Nick Duffy February 22, 2018
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(CNN)

The head of Stoneman Douglas High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance was taking no excuses from the NRA.

Emma González was a senior at the school in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people died and 14 were injured in a mass shooting by an extremist with a legally-bought assault rifle last week.

González, who is bisexual, is used to taking on archaic opinions as President of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

And she bravely took on the NRA’s Dana Loesch at the CNN townhall on gun control last night.

Addressing Loesch, who has two kids, she said: “I want you to know that we will support your two children in the way that you will not.”

“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?”

In response to her question, Loesch said: “I want to answer your question.”

However, she did not actually do so.

Instead, she said: “I don’t believe that this insane monster should have ever been able to obtain a firearm, ever. I do not think that he should have gotten his hands on any kind of weapon.

“That’s number one. This individual was nuts and I, nor the millions of people that I represent as a part of this organisation, that I’m here speaking for, none of us support people who are crazy, who are a danger to themselves, who are a danger to others, getting their hands on a firearm.

“And, we have been, for over 20 years, and I have been screaming about this, which is why I’m here, because I have kids and I’m not just fighting for my kids, I’m fighting for you, I’m fighting for you, I’m fighting for all of you.

“Because I don’t want anyone to ever be in this position again. I want everyone to think about this for one second, this goes right into your question. Do you know that it is not federally required for states to actually report people who are prohibited possessors, crazy people, people who are murderers?”

“It is not federal law for states to report convictions to the NICS system. It’s not federally mandated. That’s the big question and I wish that this network had also covered this more, as other media networks would have covered it.”

The NRA has strongly opposed legislation to make it harder to obtain assault weapons, and leverages lawmakers on the issue.

An assault rifle similar to that used in the Parkland shooting was used in the Pulse gay club shooting in nearby Orlando in 2016, when 49 innocent people died.

The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, made a number of disparaging comments about Muslims, black people, Jewish people and gay people online.

After one member of an Instagram group chat he was in expressed hatred for gay people, Cruz agreed, saying, “Shoot them in the back of head.”

Cameron Kasky, a senior at the school, recently told CNN host Anderson Cooper – who was also on the ground in Florida after the Orlando massacre – that the time for meaningless words was over.

He said: “There’s a section of this society that will just shrug this off and send their thoughts and prayers, but will march for hours when they have to bake a rainbow wedding cake.”

Kasky was referring to the case currently in the US Supreme Court of Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple.

He continued: “Everything I’ve heard where ‘We can’t do anything’ and ‘It’s out of our hands, it’s inevitable’ – I think that’s a facade that the GOP is putting up.

“I think that’s what they want us to think. I think that after every shooting, the NRA sends them a memo saying: ‘Send your thoughts and prayers, say let’s not talk about it now, say this happens.’

“This is the only country where this kind of thing happens. I’ve been hearing things from people; they don’t have gun drills the way we do.

“We had to prepare extensively at Stoneman Douglas, and that shocked people. This is something that can be stopped, and this is something that will be stopped.”

The student attacked Republican representatives like anti-LGBT US Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Rick Scott, who he said appeared to be “the only people who don’t care”.

“This is the time to talk about guns,” he said.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Cameron Kasky speaks at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. Seventeen perished and more than a dozen were wounded in the hail of bullets at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland,Florida the latest mass shooting to devastate a small US community and renew calls for gun control. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“Thoughts and prayers are appreciated… but there’s much more that can be done, much more that needs to be done, and much more that people like Marco Rubio and Rick Scott are not doing.

“And it’s scary to think that these are the people who are making our laws, when our community just took 17 bullets to the heart.

A memorial for student Joaquin Oliver and assistant football coach Aaron Feis, two of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, sits in a park in Parkland, Florida on February 16, 2018. A former student, Nikolas Cruz, opened fire at the Florida high school leaving 17 people dead and 15 injured. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“And it feels like the only people who don’t care are the people making the laws,” he added.

He also paid tribute to security guards and staff at the school, including one – football coach Aaron Feis – who gave their life to save students.

More: Gay, Gay-Straight Alliance, gsa, LGBT, parkland, shooting, Stoneman, US

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