In just a little over a month since a gunman entered her high school and killed 17 of her peers, Emma Gonzalez has arrested the national spotlight with her brazen fight for stricter gun legislation. She’s called out lawmakers and politicians for lending themselves to the financial hold of the gun lobby, written an essay for Harper’s Bazaar, and called out the NRA to their face.
In a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” Gonzalez continued her general trend of calling B.S., particularly when it comes to the country’s massive gun problem.
In response to a call for schools to start arming teachers in schools, Gonzalez had thoughts.
Emma Gonzalez is a national treasure.pic.twitter.com/uNR4ZJjQPP
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) March 18, 2018
“It’s stupid,” González said after Sharon Alfonsi asked for her opinion on arming teachers. “First of all, [Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School] ran out of paper for, like, two weeks in the school year, and now all of a sudden they have 400 million dollars to pay for teachers to get trained to arm themselves? Really? Really?” Gonzalez asked during the interview. “If you’re a teacher with a gun, do you keep it in a lockbox, or do you keep it on your person? If the teacher dies, and a student who’s a ‘good student’ is able to get the gun, are they now held responsible to shoot the student who’s come into the door? I’m not happy with that.”
During the interview, Gonzalez’s mother explained that, despite her daughter’s ferocity, it’s unfair to put a national responsibility on her shoulders.
At one point during the interview, Gonzalez’s mother, Beth, opened up about what it has been like to see her daughter take up the task of steering one of the country’s biggest hot-button issues. “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 like running along beneath her with a net, which she doesn’t want or think that she needs.” Beth’s words are a reminder that no matter how bold and impactful Gonzalez’s efforts have been so far, it’s unfair to place the responsibility of such an issue entirely on her and her schoolmates’ shoulders.
In response to the public’s reaction to Gonzalez’s activism, it’s easy to see the mother’s pride for her daughter, but the interview also highlights Beth’s internal struggle. “Somebody said ‘Please, tell Emma we’re behind her,’ which I appreciate, but we should’ve been in front of her,” Beth recalled while stifling a few tears, “I should’ve been in front of her. We adults, we should’ve dealt with this twenty years ago.”
To Beth’s point, yes, it is extremely exciting to see students like the kids from Parkland bring about change.
So far, just a little over a month since a shooter terrorized their high school, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students have mustered support from some of the biggest names in entertainment, changed Florida legislation and revived a national debate on guns and revived national outrage over gun laws. Still, we have to remember that leaving the fight to these kids, who should be preparing for prom season and going off to college and careers, is too much. Particularly when it’s so easy to help them. March with them on March 24th and make sure you get involved with your local elections.