In less than a month and a half, Emma González has quickly become one of the country’s most outspoken and admired advocates for gun control.
Just days after surviving the mass shooting that killed 17 people at her high school in Parkland, Florida, the teenager gave an impassioned speech against the nation’s weak gun laws and the NRA that quickly went viral.
Along with some of her Stoneman Douglas classmates, she then helped found the gun-control advocacy group Never Again MSD, and helped organize and lead Saturday’s worldwide March for Our Lives rallies.
González even delivered one of the most powerful speeches at the main rally in Washington, D.C., remaining silent for several minutes after listing the names of those killed in Parkland.
Hundreds of thousands of students participated in the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. and in sibling rallies around the country on Saturday, calling for action to end gun violence.
Gonzalez’s father fled Fidel Castro’s Cuban regime by moving to New York in 1968, according to a Univision profile.
Gonzalez does not speak Spanish, according to the profile.
Gonzalez became the face of the student-led movement against gun violence after an impassioned speech last month, and has since faced attempts to discredit her from both anonymous social media accounts and Republican politicians.
One GOP candidate in Maine called her a “skinhead lesbian” (she identifies as bisexual), while a doctored image spread online showed Gonzalez apparently tearing the Constitution
González, one of the leaders of the #NeverAgain movement, spoke for less than two minutes and then suddenly fell silent, marking the length of time it took for a gunman to kill 17 people in a rampage at her high school last month.
They shared their haunting stories and called on Congress to take action to stop the killing. “To those people that tell us that teenagers can’t do anything, I say that we were the only people that could have made this movement possible,” said Gonzalez’s MSD classmate Alex Wind, a junior. “To all of the politicians who have taken money from the NRA, you have chosen death.”