The first hint that something might be different this time came the morning after the shootings, from a Douglas High School sophomore named Sarah Chadwick, who informed the President of the United States, via his favorite medium, in words that quickly went viral, “I don’t want your condolences you fucking piece of shit, my friends and teachers were shot.”
Their grief was raw, their rage palpable. Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Douglas, had the most searing indictment:
“The people in the government who were voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call B.S.
“Companies, trying to make caricatures of the teen-agers nowadays, saying that all we are are self-involved and trend-obsessed and they hush us into submissions when our message doesn’t reach the ears of the nation, we are prepared to call B.S.
“Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the N.R.A., telling us nothing could ever be done to prevent this: we call B.S.
“They say that tougher gun laws do not prevent gun violence: we call B.S.”
The crowd was now joining in.
“They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun: we call B.S.
“They say guns are just tools, like knives, and are as dangerous as cars: we call B.S.
“They say that no laws would have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that occur: we call B.S.
“That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works.” The crowd was now in a frenzy of anger and sadness, the people around me were tearing up as they yelled, “We call B.S.”
And then, in unison, the people gathered began to chant, “Vote them out, vote them out, vote them out.”