But then I heard the voice of Emma González. She stood in front of a huge bank of microphones in Washington at the #MarchForOurLives rally on March 24th. This tiny girl stood bravely before over 300,000 people and started by emotionally naming each of the 17 students who had been killed. Then she lifted her eyes and stared out at the vast audience. She took a deep, shuddering breath and went silent. Her face was stoic. Her stature was immoveable. Sometimes she screwed her eyes shut as waves of emotion poured over her and rippled out over the audience. Tears ran down her face but she did not wipe them away. She stood in this stoic and articulate silence until a timer beeped. 6 minutes and 23 seconds had passed – the time the attack on her school had lasted. The time that children hid in closets or lay still pretending to be dead beneath the corpses of bleeding and dying schoolmates.
And now Emma González is only a 17 year old girl. At this age, she should be happy, care-free and enjoying her last years as an innocent teenager. Not only was she attacked by killer, she is now being brutally attacked by the right-wing media. Critics have attempted toharass, ridicule, shame, vilify and even threaten her. Fake photos have have been published. Cruel tweets with vicious lies abound. All of this because she dared to speak-up against America’s love affair with their guns.