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Surviving Teens of Parkland, Fla., Massacre Tell NRA to Shove Its ‘Thoughts and Prayers,’ and Plan March on Washington

 Students hold candles during a vigil for victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting at Pine Trail Park in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 15, 2018. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Students hold candles during a vigil for victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting at Pine Trail Park in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 15, 2018. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Out the mouth of babes, they say. And these babes will not be silenced.

Since the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Tuesday, many survivors from that day have used social and traditional media to renounce the typical Republican response. You know: “More mental health regulations,” “Guns don’t kill people ... ,” “Maybe if the school personnel were armed ... ,” “Stop making it political ... ,” “It’s the FBI’s fault ... ” and perhaps the most offensive, “Sending thoughts and prayers.”

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Yeah. These kids were having none of it.

There was this response to Tomi Lahren’s rehashed drivel:

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And, of course, the amazing Emma Gonzalez, who promised, “If all our government and president can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change we need to be.”

Heartfelt words about how the experience upended their lives:

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And now, on Sunday, an announcement that these survivors will host the March for Our Lives, to be held in Washington, D.C., on March 24.

“People keep asking us, what about the Stoneman Douglas shooting is going to be different because this has happened before and change hasn’t come?” Cameron Kasky, an 11th-grader, told ABC News. “This is it.”

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In addition to the march on the capital, the organizers also plan protests in other cities around the country and are bringing fire to the National Rifle Association and its complicit minions.

“Any politician on either side who is taking money from the NRA is responsible for events like this,” Cameron said. “At the end of the day, the NRA is fostering and promoting this gun culture.”

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Cameron said that the point now is to “create a new normal where there’s a badge of shame on any politician who’s accepting money from the NRA.”

Emma added that the student activists from Parkland want to have conversations about guns with President Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and all Republicans.

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“We want to give them the opportunity to be on the right side of this,” she said.

We have a feeling that this is the beginning of the end. These children have been traumatized, yes, but also politicized, and say they will be out in these streets. And I’m so proud of them, but so saddened that it took this heartbreak to make it so.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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DISCUSSION

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Bronx Resident Benjamin White

I wish them the best, but you’ll have to pardon my cynicism and skepticism that this will accomplish anything after seeing what hasn’t been done in the wake of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Vegas, Orlando, San Bernardino, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs, Charleston, and dozens of other mass shootings that have already faded from the public’s memory.