Following a deadly shooting at Texas’ Santa Fe High School that left eight students and two teachers dead, survivors organized a press conference in west Houston on Friday to call for stricter gun laws and tougher gun violence prevention strategies across the country.
Students specifically spoke out against politicians who “think that doing nothing is acceptable.” The emotionally charged event received support from March For Our Lives organizers, who also came together earlier this year after a student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, killing 17 people and sparking national outrage. The incident at Santa Fe High School has put their efforts back in the news as students and advocates again ask for more than thoughts and prayers.
“The truth is that whatever we are doing as a society—or not doing—is not working,” Megan McGuire, a junior at Santa Fe High School, said. “Inaction is not an option. We must do something, and we must get it right. School safety is a complex issue.”
Celebrities have taken up call for action as well: On Sunday at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, Kelly Clarkson decided to swap a moment of silence remembering the victims of the shooting for what she called a “moment of acton.”
“I’m so sick of moments of silence. It’s not working. Like, obviously,” she said. “So why don’t we not do a moment of silence? Why don’t we do a moment of action? Why don’t we do a moment of change? Why don’t we change what’s happening? Because it’s horrible.”
According to ABC News, the survivors of the Santa Fe High School shooting made it clear that they were not looking to remove guns from their owners.
McGuire explained that her dad and grandparents are gun owners: “I don’t want to take away their guns, or your guns for that matter. What I mean by gun safety is common-sense solutions to keep those who wish to harm themselves or others from obtaining guns.”
But the most resounding message at Friday’s press conference was targeted at politicians who refuse to act.
“I want to thank everyone for all of their thoughts and prayers; they are very needed and appreciated. But I do have something for elected officials who think that doing nothing is acceptable,” McGuire said. “My thought is that if you do not do something, you do not have a prayer of being elected. My generation will see to that.”