Survivors of the Florida school shooting are planning to march on Washington DC to demand tighter gun control.
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, where Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire on Wednesday killing 17 and leaving 15 injured, are demanding an end to gun violence and school mass shootings.
'Please stop allowing us to be gunned down in our hallways,' Emma Gonzalez, a high school senior, told Fox News. She insisted yesterday that this would be final school shooting in US history.
'We will be the last mass shooting,' said Gonzalez, a senior at the high school who took cover on the floor of the auditorium as a shooter rampaged through the building.
They are organizing a protest in Washington on March 24 called March For Our Lives to call for action by politicians.
Protesters hold signs calling for more gun controls at a rally three days after the shooting in Parkland, Florida
Seventeen perished and 15 were wounded in the hail of bullets at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday
'We will be the last mass shooting,' said Emma Gonzalez, a senior at the high school who took cover on the floor of the auditorium as a shooter rampaged through the building
'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's 'This Week.' 'This is it.'
'At the end of the day, this isn't a red and blue thing. This isn't Democrats or Republicans. This is about everybody and how we are begging for our lives,' he added on Face The Nation. 'We need to make real change here and that's exactly what we're going to do.'
'This cannot be [our] normal. This can be changed and it will be changed. And anybody who tells you that it can't, is buying into the facade of this being created by the people who have our blood on their hands,' he said.
The teens also plan to create a 'Badge of Shame' for politicians who continue to accept money from the NRA.
'At this point, any politician on either side who is taking money from the NRA is responsible for events like this,' Kasky said. 'The NRA is fostering and promoting this gun culture in which people like Nikolas Cruz can gun down 17 innocent lives in our school.'
The protesters highlighted politicians such as Republican Florida Senator Rubio who has accepted $3,303,355 in campaign spending by the NRA, according to the LA Times. He claimed in the wake of the tragedy that gun control would not have stopped the shooting.
Gonzalez cries as she hugs her father Jose Gonzalez at the rally. The senior took cover on the floor of the high school auditorium as a shooter rampaged through the building on Wednesday
Seniors Delaney Tarr, 17, (left) and David Hogg, 18, (right) both spoke out at the rally in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday
The Florida Republican told the US Senate that it 'isn't fair or right to create this impression that somehow this attack happened because there is some law out there that we could have passed to prevent it. Most of the proposals that have been offered would not have prevented, not just yesterday's tragedy, but any of those in recent history,' Rubio added. He also made similar comments after the Pulse nightclub shooting.
The students are hoping to get a reaction from President Trump who is yet to endorse any gun control policies.
Instead, he has discussed the mental health of the shooter and even blamed the FBI's Russia investigation, tweeting: 'Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable.
They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!'
Gunman Nikolas Cruz, 19, at is seen on a closed circuit television screen during a bond hearing in front of Broward Judge Kim Mollica at the Broward County Courthouse on Thursday
Students left the school on Wednesday with their arms on each other's shoulders during the active shooter situation
An injured female was transported from the school on a stretcher by first responders on Wednesday afternoon
Plans for the Washington march have emerged after thousands gathered on Saturday at the federal court house in Fort Lauderdale, some 25 miles from where 17 people were shot and killed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Yesterday, Gonzalez directly addressed Trump, reading out his tweet in response to the shooting and demanding to know how much the NRA had donated to his campaign.
During the presidential election, the gun owners' rights group pumped $31 million into ads supporting Trump and attacking his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton
Gonzalez also said adults who knew that the shooter was mentally ill should have done more to prevent him from having a weapon.
'We need to pay attention to the fact that this isn't just a mental health issue,' Gonzalez said at the rally. 'He wouldn't have been able to kill that many people with a knife.'
'They say a good guy stops a good guy with a gun - we call BS!' Gonzalez said. 'That us kids don't know what we're talking about, that we're too young to understand how the government works - we call BS!'
It was a deeply emotional time for the many students who had lost their friends or family members in the attack
More than a thousand people attended a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida
Dressed in the school's colors, some held flowers while others wielded signs asking for action to fight school violence, including gun control
Another senior at the school, Delaney Tarr, told the crowd: 'My innocence, our innocence has been taken away from us. I am 17 but in a matter of days I have aged decades.'
Senior David Hogg, 18, also spoke out at the rally, saying: 'Thank you for your prayers and condolences but that is not enough.'
'We've been hearing the same thing again and again, and same thing continues to happen. We say stop it, stop it today,' Hogg said.
'No more guns, no more guns!' the crowd began chanting at points.
Other speakers demanded a ban on 'assault weapons'. Shooter Nikolas Cruz used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle that he purchased legally a year ago to kill 17 on Wednesday.
Many speakers at the rally urged for change through the ballot box, suggesting that Democrats would offer solutions
Protesters hold signs at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday
Here’s the speech from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez at an anti-gun rally happening today in Fort Lauderdale https://t.co/CyfMnPDAvW // https://t.co/hgewZy4Cxf https://t.co/gssAmGczuH— Joshua Chavers (@JoshuaChavers) February 17, 2018
Students who survived the shooting at Stoneman have been speaking out loudly in the days since the massacre on Wednesday.
David Hogg urged 'policy makers take a look in the mirror and take some action' in an interview just one day after the shooting.
'Ideas are great, but without action, ideas stay idea and children die,' added the teen, whose articulate, 'common sense' response to the shooting has won him fans on Twitter.
Hogg was in his AP Environmental Science class when he heard a gunshot ring out at around 2.30pm.
The high schooler, a news director of the student TV station, said he initially suspected it could be a drill, so when the fire alarm rang he and his classmates dutifully filed out. That's when he saw a 'flood' of kids running in the opposite direction.
'So I started running with the herd and we're running we're actually running towards the freshman building,' he told CNN. 'And thank god a janitor stopped us.'
'That's not acceptable,' the very articulate 18-year-old said. 'That's not something that should happen in this country, especially when we're going to school. It's something that we really need to take a look at.
'Our policy makers and some people need to look in the mirror, and take some action.'
David Hogg (pictured with classmate Kelsey Friend) urged policy makers to take action in an inspirational interview outside his school earlier this week
Meanwhile, state lawmakers in Florida have just three weeks left in their annual 60-day session and normally are trying to wrap up work on a new state budget in the final days.
But the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland has revived an ongoing legislative debate about how to respond to gun violence.
Democrats want the Legislature to take up gun control bills that have languished again this year, but Republican legislative leaders are talking about boosting mental health programs in Florida's public schools as well as considering measures that would bolster safety on school campuses.
Governor Rick Scott has said he plans to talk to legislative leaders in the coming week about what could be done to make it harder for people who are mentally ill to purchase a gun.
Earlier in the weekend, placards inspired by Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri were driven around Miami to put pressure on its Republican senator after the high school massacre this week in Florida.
The signs – reading 'Slaughtered in school', 'And still no gun control?', 'How come, Marco Rubio?' – echoed the Oscar-nominated film where a mother challenges authorities over justice for her daughter who was raped and murdered.
The protest was organised by activist group Avaaz, which highlighted the campaign donations Mr Rubio has accepted from gun advocates the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Over his legislative career, Rubio has been the beneficiary of $3,303,355 in campaign spending by the NRA, according to the LA Times.WORST SCHOOL SHOOTINGS IN THE LAST 20 YEARS
The bloodshed in Florida was the latest outbreak of gun violence that has become a regular occurrence at U.S. schools and colleges. Below are some of the worst U.S. school shootings in the last 20 years.
BENTON, Kentucky, Jan. 23, 2018 - Gabe Parker, 15, kills two fellow students, both also 15, at Marshall County High School in western Kentucky with a pistol and wounds 14 others. Four other high schoolers suffered non-gunshot wounds in the ensuing panic.
AZTEC, New Mexico, Dec. 7, 2017 - William Atchison, a 21-year-old man, disguised as a student enters the local high school, kills two students and then shoots himself to death.
SAN BERNARDINO, California, April 10, 2017 - Cedric Anderson dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after killing his estranged wife at North Park Elementary School where she worked. An 8-year-old student is also shot to death.
ROSEBURG, Oregon, Oct. 1, 2015 - Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, opens fire on the campus of Umpqua Community College, killing nine people before he is shot dead by police.
MARYSVILLE, Washington, Oct. 24, 2014 - Freshman student Jaylen Fryberg, 15, at Marysville-Pilchuck High School fatally wounds four students in the cafeteria before killing himself.
SANTA MONICA, California, June 7, 2013 - A onetime digital media student, John Zawahri, 23, fatally shoots his father and brother, sets their house on fire, and then kills three people at Santa Monica College. The gunman kills himself.
NEWTOWN, Connecticut, Dec. 14, 2012 - Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shoots his mother, then kills 20 children and six adults before killing himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It was the deadliest mass shooting at either a high school or grade school in US history and prompted renewed debate about gun control in the United States.
OAKLAND, California, April 2, 2012 - One L Goh, a former nursing student, kills seven people and wounds three at Oikos University, a Korean Christian college.
CHARDON, Ohio, Feb. 27, 2012 - Seventeen-year-old student Thomas 'T.J' Lane at Chardon High School kills three students and wounds three in school cafeteria. He received three life sentences on March 19, 2013. In 2014, Lane, along with two other inmates, escaped from Allen Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio, but he was recaptured the following day.
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama, Feb. 12, 2010 - Amy Bishop, a biology professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville opens fire during a staff meeting, killing three faculty members and wounding three.
DEKALB, Illinois, Feb. 14, 2008 - Steve Kazmierczak, a former graduate student, kills five students and wounds 16 at Northern Illinois University before taking his own life.
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, Feb. 8, 2008 - Nursing student Latina Williams at Louisiana Technical College kills two classmates and herself in a classroom.
BLACKSBURG, Virginia, April 16, 2007 - Gunman Seung-Hui Cho slaughters 32 people and kills himself at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech. At the time it was the deadliest shooting carried out by a single gunman in US history.
NICKEL MINES, Pennsylvania, Oct. 2, 2006 - Gunman Charles Carl Roberts IV took hostages and shot eight out of 10 girls, killing five in a one-room Amish schoolhouse, before killing himself.
SHEPHERDSTOWN, West Virginia, Sept. 2, 2006 - 49-year-old Douglas Pennington shoots himself and his two sons Logan, 26, and Benjamin, 24, to death during a visit to the campus of Shepherd University.
RED LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION, Minnesota, March 21, 2005 - A 16-year-old high school student Jeffrey Weise, kills seven people including his grandfather, a tribal police officer, and wounds several others in a shooting rampage after killing two people off-campus. He then kills himself.
COLD SPRING, Minnesota, Sept. 24, 2003 - Fifteen-year-old student John Jason McLaughlin, fatally shoots a freshman and a senior at Rocori High School.
TUCSON, Arizona, Oct. 29, 2002 - Failing student Robert S Flores Jr, 41, shoots and kills three professors and then himself at the University of Arizona School of Nursing.
GRUNDY, Virginia, Jan. 16, 2002 - Nigerian immigrant Peter Odighizuwa, a recently dismissed graduate student aged 41, kills a dean, a professor and a student at the Appalachian School of Law and wounds three others.
SANTEE, California, March 5, 2001 - Charles Andrew Williams, a student at Santana High School kills two students, wounds 13. He is currently serving life in prison.
LITTLETON, Colorado, April 20, 1999 - Two teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold rampage through Columbine High School, fatally shooting 12 students and a teacher and wounding more than 20 others before killing themselves. The personal journals of the duo document that they wanted their actions to rival that of the Oklahoma City bombing.
JONESBORO, Arkansas, March 24, 1998 - Two boys Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11, fire on their middle school from woods, killing four girls and a teacher and wounding 11 others.