Marjory Stoneman Douglas junior Lorenzo Prado gave an extremely passionate address in Tallahassee, Florida today as he demanded new legislative action and sensible gun control following the shooting at the school last week.
Prado was among the students who gave a press conference after meeting with state lawmakers inside the capitol building. He began by acknowledging that there’s been a lot of blame thrown around about why the shooting happened, but he argued that the event proves change must happen, and failure to make changes would disrespect every American who died in mass casualty events over the years.
“The simple fact is that the laws of our beloved country allowed for the deranged gunman to purchase a gun legally. The law has failed us and has led to the events that happened in Parkland to occur. What we must do now is enact change, because that is what we do to things that fail: We change them.”
Prado recalled those who were lost in the massacre, getting particularly tearful as he remembered Nicholas Dworet, a friend and a promising Olympic swimmer who did not survive. As Prado lamented how the shooter was able to obtain his guns despite all the warning signs, Prado described the intense experience he endured after he was held by law enforcement on suspicion of being the killer.
“…They saw me, and they panicked because I was matching the same description as Nikolas Cruz. I had the same clothes, same color, same facial structure somewhat…and they reported me. I was just hiding up there. I had no idea what was going on and then the door started to rattle. At first, the only thought that came to my mind was ‘I’m going to die, the shooter is going to kill me.’ But then the SWAT comes in, and I thought they were here to rescue me. But then as I go down the stairs, I find out that I was wrong. I found out that they thought it was me that killed the 17 people.”
Prado continued to talk about being wrongfully handcuffed, along with the feelings of fear and guilt he was left with after the whole ordeal. He concluded by declaring that it would be an “act of treason” if nothing changes in light of recent events.
“This is an injustice to our country because not only of the lives lost, but also in the loss of confidence in our government. We lose confidence in our government because we are told that nothing can be done time and time again, and we’re tired of hearing that.”
Watch above, via CNN.
[Image via screengrab]
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