Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Alex Wind and Jaclyn Corin are making it their mission to be the last “mass shooting generation.”
The five Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students sat down with “60 Minutes” on Sunday to discuss their upcoming March For Our Lives protest, and how the Feb. 14 massacre that left 17 dead at their Florida high school changed their lives forever.
“We’re the mass shooting generation. I was born months after Columbine. I’m 17 years old and we’ve had 17 years of mass shootings,” Kasky said.
The five students organized the March For Our Lives protest, set for March 24, and the #NeverAgain campaign to end gun violence. Their social media campaign has galvanized a movement and garnered support from big names like Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and George Clooney.
The teens also organized last week’s 17-minute walkout at high schools across the country, and even pressured Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to enact the state’s first gun control measure in over two decades.
Many people thought the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary massacre, which claimed the lives of 20 students and six teachers, would push politicians to finally act on gun laws. “60 Minutes” correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi asked the Parkland students why they believe they can have a bigger impact than the parents of Sandy Hook victims.
“We are the generations who have had to be trapped in closets, waiting for the police to come or waiting for a shooter to walk in to our door,” Wind answered. “We are the people that know what it’s like first hand.”
We are the generations who have had to be trapped in closets, waiting for the police to come or waiting for a shooter to walk in to our door. Alex Wind, Parkland student
Alfonsi also spoke with parents of Stoneman Douglas survivors and victims.
“The victims are being represented by people that could have been the victims,” said Manuel Oliver, father of 17-year-old Joaquin, who was killed in the shooting.
“These kids have their cellphones on their hands the whole day. And we, as parents, we criticize that a lot because we ignore the power of that,” he continued. “The difference between this tragedy and others, if you ask me, is that this generation is used to [getting] answers right away. You think they’re going to wait for six months or a year for anybody — Congress or anybody that needs to make the right call?”
Gonzalez, whose rousing speech calling out the NRA went viral days after the massacre, became a public face of the anti-gun violence movement overnight. Her mother, Beth, said she’s proud of her daughter, but also “terrified.”
“It’s like she built herself a pair of wings out of balsa wood and duct tape and jumped off a building, and we’re just running along beneath her with a net which she doesn’t want or think that she needs,” Beth Gonzalez said of her 18-year-old daughter.
“Somebody said, you know, ‘Please tell Emma we’re behind her,’ which I appreciate,” she added. “But we should’ve been in front of her. I should’ve been in front of her. We all, adults, should’ve dealt with this 20 years ago.”
Watch the full “60 Minutes” interview below.