Parkland survivors push youth vote after Tallahassee shooting

By  | 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The Parkland March For Our Lives students were at the state Capitol Monday in the shadow of Friday’s deadly mass shooting that took two lives and injured five others.

The Parkland shooting is credited with energizing young voters and Democrats.

Student activists who gained a national platform are urging the voters to cast ballots as if it were their last election.

“When you walk up to vote tomorrow, remember all of our faces. Remember thousands of students who live in fear everyday because of gun violence," said FAMU Student Zion Kelly, who lost a brother to gun violence.

The survivors’ presence comes just three days after Scott Beierle opened fire on a Tallahassee yoga studio, killing an FSU student and faculty member.

A vigil held on campus Sunday night, words from FSU President John Thrasher mirrored those of the March For Our Lives students.

“People have a right to feel safe in their schools, in their places of worship," said Thrasher.

Just eight months ago, the capitol was the epicenter for the gun reform movement.

“Sixty-plus state laws have been passed to combat gun violence around the country... and if they'd been passed before... these heroes would still be here," said Parkland Survivor Emma Gonzalez.

Like the Parkland shooter, the gunman who opened fire on the Yoga studio Friday had a history of posting violent material online.

The Tallahassee shooting wasn’t directly mentioned by the Parkland students, until we asked.

“There are too many happening in this country for us to talk about each and every one. Here in Tallahassee is very close to our hearts. Some of our co workers and some of our friends had experienced trauma, they were in that studio, they experienced pain," said Parkland Survivor Matt Deitsch.

Gonzalez just voted for the first time.

“It was pretty cool. I listened to Kendrick Lamar while I was doing my absentee ballot," said Gonzalez.

She says it doesn’t matter who wins so long as people turnout to vote.

In another effort to get the youth out to vote, Democratic Candidate Andrew Gillum will be joined by Rapper P-Diddy and DJ Khalid down the street from the Capitol, Monday night for a rally on FAMU’s campus.