Florida School Shooting Survivor: 'We Will Not Be Silenced, We Need Action Now'
Survivors of the deadly shooting at a Florida high school gathered at the state's Capitol in Jacksonville on Wednesday to call for action and stricter gun control legislation.
17 people were killed when 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle on Valentine's Day.
Alfonso Calderon, a 16-year-old junior who hid in a closet with classmates during the shooting, declared that it is time for commonsense gun control legislation, vowing to keep fighting until change is effected.
Calderon said some have tried to suggest the students who survived the shooting don't have a valid opinion on the matter, either because they are kids or because they've just been through a traumatic experience or because they don't understand the issues.
"That is not the case," he said. "We more than anybody else understand the violence that comes through certain guns. We more than anybody else understand what it feels like to lose somebody. ... We aren't being taken seriously enough."
He said they may just be teenagers, but they understand that some lawmakers and powerful people want to discredit them for political reasons.
"But we will not be silenced. It has gone on long enough that just because we are kids we are not allowed to understand. But trust me, I understand," Calderon said.
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