Survivors of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida have been criticizing Washington’s hesitance to tackle gun violence, and Samantha Fuentes, a Latina teen who was recently discharged from the hospital after she was hit in the assault, is joining the roaring youth opposition movement.
While Fuentes, an 18-year-old senior at Marjory Douglas High School, was recovering from shooting wounds on both her legs, she received a call from President Donald Trump. Instead of feeling optimistic after her call with the commander-in-chief, however, she felt more concerned.
“He said he heard that I was a big fan of his, and then he said, ‘I’m a big fan of yours, too.’ I’m pretty sure he made that up,” the teen told the New York Times on Thursday. “Talking to the president, I’ve never been so unimpressed by a person in my life. He didn’t make me feel better in the slightest.”
She added that the president referred to the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, as a “sick puppy” and said “‘oh boy, oh boy, oh boy,’ like, seven times.”
Fuentes, who was left with a piece of shrapnel behind her right eye, will have to meet with specialists to get the fragment removed. Still, she plans on taking on the battle that her fellow classmates have embarked on while she was being treated: gun reform.
“I don’t know how Columbine wasn’t enough. I don’t know Sandy Hook was not enough. I don’t know how the Las Vegas shooting was not enough. I don’t know how the Pulse nightclub was not enough. I don’t know how any of it was not enough. But now it is,” she said Wednesday on The Today Show. “This is enough for me. This is enough for my message, this is enough for my platform, and I’m not gonna let anyone stop me. You don’t know the pain until it happens to you. You don’t know the fear and the sorrow and the disappointment and the complete and utter rage until it happens to you. And the truth is is that it doesn’t have to keep happening.”
The teen, who knew Cruz from the school’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, said shots were fired through a pane near her classroom’s locked door. Two of her classmates were killed.
That day, her class was learning about hate groups and the history of the Holocaust.