Emma Gonzalez, an 18-year-old student from Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, has gained worldwide acclaim for her gun control speech.
Ms Gonzalez gave an 11-minute speech at the anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale, after 17 classmates and teachers were killed in the Florida school shooting on February 14.
In her gun control speech, Ms Gonzalez pledged: “We are going to be the last mass shooting. We are going to change the law.”
The student was in the school’s atrium at the time of the shooting and received a text from a friend 40-minutes later asking if she was okay.
Ms Gonzalez is of Cuban origin and identifies herself as bisexual. She is the head of the Stoneman Douglas High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance.
After Ms Gonzalez’s ‘calling BS’ gun control speech, her Twitter followers have increased. She currently has over one million followers, more than the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Ms Gonzalez demonstrates her activism by regularly tweeting about gun control and how stricter laws need to be implemented in the US.
Her goal is for stricter gun laws and the removal of military-grade weapons from general circulation.
A gentle reminder that all we are aiming for here is stricter gun laws that make it harder for people to get guns (because it shouldn't be easier than getting a drivers license) and the removal of Military Grade Weapons from Civilian Society. #BanAssaultRifles #GunContolNow
— Emma González (@Emma4Change) February 25, 2018
Ms Gonzalez and her Parkland community have also established the March For Our Lives Movement, where rallies for gun control will take place in Washington D.C on March 24. They will rally for the demand that their safety becomes a priority and gun violence will end.
Ms Gonzalez has grabbed the attention of numerous celebrities including Zendaya and Laverne Cox. She also appeared on the Ellen show with two other Florida shooting survivors and spoke about her ‘calling BS’ gun control speech.
“This message doesn’t need to be thought in a negative way at all. This is the most important thing right now,” she said.
Ms Gonzalez has stated that her buzzcut hair style was not about taking a ‘feminist stand’ but rather for practical reasons.
On an Instagram post, she explained: “I decided to cut my hair because it was a pain in the neck … it was expensive to keep it up, and as prom time came around, I figured it would be cheaper to not have to worry about doing my hair.
“The more my parents said no, the more I wanted it. Actually, I even made a powerpoint in order to convince them that I should do it.”