George and Amal Clooney stand up for Florida shooting survivors in the most generous way
After the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people with an AR-15, there has been a renewed call for common sense gun control laws. (Like, say, not allowing mentally ill teenagers to legally purchase AR-15's, for starters.)
The gun control debate in America is extremely contentious (as I'm sure you can tell by the comments underneath this article!) There have been many, many mass shootings, and after each one, lawmakers have failed to address the issue of gun control (or say "it's not the time to discuss it"). But in this instance, the pressure is on, thanks to the survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The students have refused to remain silent, and emerged as passionate advocates for change.
Senior student Emma Gonzalez delivered a powerful speech that went viral, criticizing the NRA and the spineless politicians who accept millions of dollars from their lobbyists every year. "Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS," said Emma. "They say tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS."
On March 24, the students will be going to Washington, D.C. to hold the March For Our Lives. It's a demonstration to raise awareness of the epidemic of gun violence, and demand Congress to pass a "comprehensive and effective bill" to address the problem. The mission statement on their website reads: "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...Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives."
And there's going to be some famous faces marching with the survivors. George and Amal Clooney have announced that they will be attending the March for Our Lives demonstration, as well as donating $500,000 to help pay for the event. Like many people, the humanitarians were blown away by the students' inspiring speeches and interviews after the tragedy.
"[We] are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School," said the Clooneys in a statement. "Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we’re donating 500,000 dollars to help pay for this groundbreaking event. Our children’s lives depend on it."
In fact, the Clooneys are just the beginning. Since their announcement, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, and Oprah Winfrey have all said they will match the $500,000 pledge. "These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s," tweeted Oprah, "who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard."
We'll see if Congress listens.
In related news, meet the people who believe that US mass shootings are staged...