Former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and Emma Gonzalez, who took cover in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, during a 2018 school massacre, made the case for gun control on Wednesday at that Democratic National Convention.
Giffords was victimized by gun violence as a member of Congress at a town hall event in her Arizona district in 2011. The incident nearly took her life, as she spent months in recovery. There were six people fatally wounded at the 2011 incident.
“America needs all of us to speak out, even when you have to fight to find the words,” Giffords said. “We are at a crossroads. We can let the shooting continue or we can act. We can protect our families, our future. We can vote. We can be on the right side of history.”
Giffords' husband Mark Kelly is running for a Senate seat in Arizona.
Gonzalez became a gun control activist, among others who were part of the 2018 shooting in Parkland. Gonzalez took cover in the school's auditorium for several hours as police cleared the school.
“Until one of us or all of us stand up and say, ‘I can’t do this anymore, I can’t sit by and watch the news treat these shootings like acts of God. Gun violence isn’t just going to stop until there’s a force fighting harder against it, and I’m going to do something to prevent it,” Gonzalez said.
The attack in Parkland was the deadliest on a high school campus in US history. Seventeen people were killed and 17 others were wounded.
DeAndra Dycus, an Indianapolis mother whose son was paralyzed by a stray bullet, called on having a president empathetic to gun violence, and the need for gun restrictions.
“I want a president who cares about our pain and grief,” Dycus said.