Dozens of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School met with lawmakers in Florida's capital Tallahassee on Wednesday to push for measures they hope will prevent school shootings.
Melanie Weber, a student who survived last week's attack and is in Tallahassee, tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson she doesn't want the issue of stricter gun control measures to fade from view like after other mass shootings.
"We've talked about how all of these shootings, they were in the news for a week, and then they faded away and nothing ever got done," she says. "But we want to make sure that doesn't happen. We're doing everything in our power to make sure that it stays alive and a relevant issue."
On what she and her classmates plan to tell Florida lawmakers
"We're just going to be talking to them about our experience because recently the [Florida] House voted down a bill that was going to ban assault weapons like AR-15s. And so we got a list of everyone who voted 'No.' So the people who voted 'No,' we're going to ask them why they chose to vote that way, and we're going to try to talk to them to try to maybe, hopefully, sway their opinion the other way to vote in favor of banning assault weapons like an AR-15.
"I know it's really hard to change people's opinions, but I think if we just share our story and we appeal to them from a moral standpoint, we may be able to get something done."
"We're doing everything in our power to make sure that it stays alive and a relevant issue."Florida student Melanie Weber, on gun control
On how she is feeling a week after the shooting
"It still feels kind of surreal that something like this actually happened to me at my school. I was really upset, and I still am. I’m angry, confused, as to why me? Why did this have to happen in my community, to the people at my school?"
On conservative media accusations the students are pawns for the FBI and the Democratic Party
"That is 100 percent false. We were all there in the school. We all experienced it. We all lost people who were close to us. Honestly, I think people tended to underestimate us and our intellectual abilities. And I think they're just surprised at how well-spoken some people are and how much action they're actually taking. I don't think that they're able to fathom that kids our age are able to do something like that, so I think their only way of explaining that is, 'Oh, they're actors,' but I can assure you that we're not."
On what would make her satisfied that her classmates didn't die in vain
"I think what would satisfy that is if something was passed, whether it's banning assault weapons or promoting more background checks. I think as long as something to that extent got passed, then I think I would be satisfied."
This article was originally published on February 21, 2018.
This segment aired on February 21, 2018.