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Entertainment Weekly

TV

Parkland shooting survivors talk gun control and conspiracies on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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Three survivors of the mass shooting last Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, joined Ellen DeGeneres on Friday to continue spreading their advocacy of stricter gun laws.

DeGeneres was joined by Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, and Jaclyn Corin, all of whom have made major public appearances over the past week, to discuss the conversation that the Parkland tragedy (wherein 17 people were killed) has sparked and what’s being done to keep it going and to turn it into real policy change. “You all are amazing,” the host said to them at the beginning of the segment.

The students touched on a variety of topics, including their widely-watched CNN Town Hall on Wednesday evening in which, among other highlights, Kasky confronted Senator Marco Rubio and asked him directly whether he’d continue accepting money from the National Rifle Association. As DeGeneres continued to praise the students’ efforts, Gonzalez clarified that it was her school that gave her the tools to make sense of and respond to the tragedy. “We are thankful to have been in a school that educated us almost perfectly to handle this situation,” she said.

Kasky added that he’s felt some guilt for what it took to spur him to activism. “I wish I had been able to be a part of this before I had to feel it at home,” he said. “I almost feel guilty … It took us feeling that anguish for us to get involved, but we’re here now. But we just have to keep going and realize that we’re here to fight the good fight.”

He later quipped, in regard to the conspiracy theorists accusing students like Gonzalez and Kasky of being paid actors on behalf of anti-gun efforts, “If you’ve seen [me act in school productions], you know I’m not somebody who deserves any money for acting.”

The Stoneman Douglas students are now organizing a “March for Our Lives” on Washington, just the latest major demonstration since the Parkland shooting to promote gun safety laws. DeGeneres announced on-air that Shutterfly would be donating $50,000 to the students’ efforts. You can learn more about the march, which takes place on March 24, here.

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