By Michael Hernandez
More than 100 grieving students who survived a deadly school shooting rallied Wednesday in the Florida state capital to urge lawmakers to take action to prevent the next mass tragedy.
“We’ve had enough of thoughts and prayers,” said Delaney Tarr. “No longer can you take money from the NRA, no longer can you fly under the radar doing whatever it is that you want to do, because we are coming after you. We are coming after every single one of you and demanding that you take action, demanding that you make a change.”
Tarr was referring to the National Rifle Association, widely regarded as the most influential lobbying group in Washington. It advocates against gun control regulations, arguing they infringe on the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution that allows for the right to bear arms.
The group of students Tarr was with were joined by thousands of others outside of Capitol in Tallahassee, all seeking action from lawmakers. Even more walked out of classrooms across the state in protest.
Seventeen people died last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when a lone gunman armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle carried out one of the worst mass shootings in modern U.S. history.
Police have charged a former student at the schools, Nikolas Cruz, 19, with 17 counts of premeditated murder. He has confessed to the crimes.
Earlier Wednesday, Florida lawmakers failed to take up a state assault weapons ban in a party line vote opposed by Republicans. Instead, legislators decided to discuss legislation that would declare pornography a public health risk, according to the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.
"We had a chance to do something and we didn't,” said Democratic state representative Sean Shaw . “That's why you're up here. Go and demand action. You're not up to ask. This is about you. This is not about us."