Michael Laughlin/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images
Anna Sheffer
February 22, 2018 9:56 am

Last night, February 21st, CNN hosted a town hall meeting to discuss gun control reform in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting on February 14th. Parents of the victims, teachers, and students all asked questions to politicians and a spokesperson from the NRA. But the Parkland students’ statements resonated — loudly. Here’s what they had to say.

Ryan Deitsch, senior

Deitsch told Senator Marco Rubio that he had been participating in active shooter drills since elementary school, and that, in fifth grade, his school had once been put on lockdown for three hours. He questioned why students were responsible for leading reform.

Cameron Kasky, junior

After requesting that the crowd not boo politicians based on parties, Kasky asked Rubio if he would stop taking NRA donations. Rubio responded to defend himself by saying that, as a politician, people pay to support his agenda. But Kasky continued to press the senator.

Rubio again avoided Kasky’s question.

Michelle Lapido, freshman

In a moving statement, Lapido said her school would rise above the tragic shooting.

Emma Gonzalez, senior

Gonzalez, known for her powerful speech at a Parkland rally on February 17th, addressed NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch.

Loesch tiptoed around the question, saying that the Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz, never should have obtained a gun.

We applaud these students for their courageous statements and for working to make real change. While this CNN town hall didn’t completely answer the question of how to end gun violence, opening the discussion was a step in the right direction.

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