Chicago Students Meet With Florida Shooting Survivors To Discuss Gun Violence

Nancy Harty
March 05, 2018 - 10:08 am

Emma Gonzalez/Twitter

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A group of Chicago teens met with survivors of the Parkland school shooting in Florida over the weekend to discuss something they have in common - gun violence.

More than a dozen students met poolside Saturday while discussing how gun violence has impacted their communities, according to a tweet Sunday from Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“Those who face gun violence on a level that we have only just glimpsed from our gated communities have never had their voices heard in their entire lives the way that we have in these few weeks alone. Since we all share in feeling this pain and know all to well how it feels to have grown up at the snap of a finger, we were able to cover a lot of ground in communicating our experiences," Gonzalez tweeted. "People of color in inner-cities and everywhere have been dealing with this for a despicably long time, and the media cycles just don't cover the violence the way they did here. The platform us Parkland Students have established is to be shared with every person, black or white, gay or straight, religious or not, who has experienced gun violence, and hand in hand, side by side, We Will Make This Change Together."

The gathering was designed to include underrepresented voices in the national conversation on gun violence, Gonzalez said.

"Even though we face different types of gun violence, we all feel the exact same way after having experienced it," she said.

The gathering came togther quickly. It was organized by the Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina, a Catholic church on the South Side, and former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

"We were just explaining the differences of how violence [is> affecting them in Parkland and how violence affects us everyday here," Lamar Johnson, a student with St. Sabina's violence prevention program who traveled with the group, told CBS 2.

Teens from the church plan to join a national walk-out on March 14 to protest gun violence in schools.

CBS 2 Chicago contributed to the interviews in this story.