They’ve gone to Tallahassee and Washington D.C. They’ve appeared on talk shows and taken on the National Rifle Association. They’ve raised more than $3 million to combat gun violence.
Now the five teens behind the #NeverAgain movement that was born in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have appeared on “60 Minutes” talking about how they’ve been able to accomplish things adults haven’t been able to.
And while they agree on most issues related to the shooting, the teens — Emma González, Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, Jacqueline Coren and Alex Wind — don’t agree on the fate of the accused shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.
When asked about the state prosecutor’s decision to seek the death penalty for Cruz, González, the 18-year-old teen who caught the spotlight after she delivered a powerful message at an anti-gun rally days after the shooting, said simply “good.”
Another teen, Kasky, said he didn’t even want to think about Cruz.
“I think the more we think about him, the more he wins,” said the 17-year-old. “That being said, in a way I disagree with Emma — let him rot forever.”
The discussion was part of the nearly 15-minute segment that opened Sunday’s show. Correspondent Sharon Alfonsi began by recapping the deadly Feb. 14 shooting. Cruz walked into the Parkland high school with an AR-15 rifle and began shooting into several classrooms in the freshman building.
“In the hours that followed, there were vigils and a string of lawmakers offered their thoughts and prayers. Then something different happened,” she said. “The students of Stoneman Douglas gathered in living rooms and in front of cameras declaring #neveragain. In less than a month, the teens did what few thought possible: They changed gun laws in Florida and ignited a national movement.”
Before Alfonsi got to the five teens, the show gave a glimpse of what life is like for survivor Anthony Borges and his family. Cameras were in the teen’s hospital room where he is still recovering. The 15-year-old soccer player, Alfonsi said, was shot five times. His father, Royer Borges, told “60 Minutes” that it’s a “miracle” his son survived. The teen is seen with his eyes shut in a hospital bed hooked up to oxygen and other machines. The beeping sounds continued through the interview.
Then Alfonsi was in the living room at one teen’s home, where the five of them took turns answering questions.
When asked how they’ve been able to get adults to listen, Alex, a self-described theater geek, said: “The thing about it is that we are the generation that has had to be trapped in closets waiting for police to come or waiting for a shooter to walk into our door. We are the people who know what it’s like firsthand.”
Cameron said they’ve also learned quickly that they have to “remember everyone has an agenda.”
Anybody that tries to call the shots for us, we respectfully say ‘that’s not what this is about.’
Cameron Kasky, #NeverAgain movement
“We allow them to help where they can, but we make sure that we are calling the shots. Anybody that tries to call the shots for us, we respectfully say ‘that’s not what this is about.’ ”
Alfonsi then turned her focus to Gonzalez, the 18-year-old senior who dismissed Florida’s push to let teachers carry guns as “stupid.”
“All of a sudden they have $400 million to pay for teachers to get trained to arm themselves?” she asked “Really? Really?”
Since the shooting, Gonzalez has spoken at rallies, appeared on talk shows and led efforts for a massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C., on March 24.
“It’s like she built herself a pair of wings out of balsa wood and duct tape and jumped off a building,” said her mother. “And we’re just, like, running along beneath her with a net, which she doesn’t want or think that she needs.”
Last week, the outspoken teen and Stoneman Douglas’ Gay-Straight Alliance were honored by Equality Florida, the state’s leading LGBTQ rights group.
In recent days, Republican Maine House candidate Leslie Gibson — who called Gonzalez a “skinhead lesbian” — stepped out of the race after criticism over the comment.
Alonsi ended with a tearful Emma, who took several deep breaths as she tried to explain why she has an obligation to fight.
“I have no choice,” she said.