It’s been one week since a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, shot and killed 17 people. Over those seven days, students from the school have launched a website that is selling merchandise and planning marches nationwide, marchforourlives.com.
They have also launched a Twitter account that has over 112,000 followers.
And one of those students, Cameron Kasky, a 17-year-old junior, who said he is the founder of the March for Our Lives and the #NeverAgain movements.
Kasky’s #NeverAgain Go Fund Me page has raised $1.7 million to finance the march:
My name is Cameron Kasky. I am a student at Stoneman Douglas.
I created the #NeverAgain movement as well as the March for Our Lives. Our team has been working hard since day one.
The funds will be spent on the incredibly difficult and expensive process that is organizing a march like this. We have people making more specific plans, but for now, know that this is for the march and everything left over will be going to the victims’ funds.
These donations are not tax deductible.
Kasky has also become a popular commentator on cable and other media outlets, including CNN, which published a commentary Kasky penned about the day of the shooting.
Here are some excerpts from the commentary, which begins with Kasky explaining that he survived the shooting because he had to pick up his brother from a special needs classroom:
We can’t ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises. And so, I’m asking — no, demanding — we take action now.
Why? Because at the end of the day, the students at my school felt one shared experience — our politicians abandoned us by failing to keep guns out of schools.
But this time, my classmates and I are going to hold them to account. This time we are going to pressure them to take action. This time we are going to force them to spend more energy protecting human lives than unborn fetuses.
Kasky says he doesn’t blame Republicans or the National Rifle Association directly for the tragedy but he does criticize their support for the Second Amendment giving Americans the right to bear arms:
The shooter is not the only one responsible for this tragedy. While the alleged shooter may have had several issues, he also lived in a society where Sen. Marco Rubio refuses to take responsibility for the role gun culture may have played in this tragedy.
And there is no denying that the NRA continues to donate millions of dollars to politicians at every level of government. Then those politicians — often “family values” conservatives — rile up their base by making them think that “liberals” are going to take their guns away.
Not knowing any better, some of these people stockpile guns in advance of a gun ban that never comes, and the gun manufacturers and the NRA make millions.
Kasky levels blame at Democrats too, saying that they “lack organization and the votes to do anything about it.”
He concludes the commentary by asking people to vote “those individuals who are in the back pockets of gun lobbyists out of office.”
Kasky was also invited to take part in CNN’s town hall on Wednesday night where he tried to tie Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to school attack and asked him to refuse donations from the National Rifle Association.
“Senator Rubio, it’s hard to look at you and not look down a barrel of an AR-15 and not look at Nicholas Cruz, but the point is you’re here and there some people who are not,” Kasky said.He also mentioned his fundraising efforts.
“You know, we’ve raised quite a bit of money so far,” Kasky said during the exchange with Rubio.
The March for Our Lives Movement also is joining forces with the anti-Trump, left-wing Women’s March organizers, advertising their march on March 14, the March for our Lives in Washington, D.C. on March 24 and the organizers of what is being called a nationwide walk out of school event for 17 minutes on April 20.
— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) February 18, 2018
On the March for Our Lives website the following mission statement, which claims the campaign is non-political, is posted:
Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe.
Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.
March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now.
On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority. The collective voices of the March For Our Lives movement will be heard.
School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing. The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.
Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last. We live in fear.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Change is coming. And it starts now, inspired by and led by the kids who are our hope for the future. Their young voices will be heard.
Stand with us on March 24. Refuse to allow one more needless death.
The March for Our Lives website states that 100 percent of the money raised will be used to finance the March 24 event and any remaining money will go to victims’ families.
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