Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez has become a powerful activist, and when she took the stage to speak at Saturday’s March for Our Lives in D.C., the crowd was moved by her stunning speech, which lasted 6 minutes and 23 seconds, the length of the Parkland shooting.
“Six minutes and about twenty seconds. In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone, was forever altered,” she began.
“Everyone who was there understands, everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands,” she continued.
She continued, “For those who still can’t comprehend because they refuse to, I’ll tell you where it went. Right into the ground, six feet deep. Six minutes and 20 seconds with an ar-15 and my friend, Carmen, would never complain to me about piano practice.”
Gonzalez then began describing each of the 17 victims. When finished naming them all, she then stood at the podium in silence.
For six minutes and twenty seconds.
With people tearing up in the crowd, some folks began a #NeverAgain chant. Gonzalez, however, maintained her silence.
Gonzales quietly wept, but stood firm.
After an alarm went off, Gonzalez wrapped up her speech with these words:
“Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
The March for Our Lives is a direct response to the Parkland shooting, which inspired Gonzalez and other student survivors to launch a movement in hopes of convincing lawmakers to address the issue of gun violence and, in particular, school shootings. In response, thousands of students, parents, teachers, and others came from around the US on Saturday to protest in Washington, DC.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 24, 2018