Amal Clooney is 'blown away' by the Parkland student activists
Amal Clooney expressed her support for and admiration of the survivors of the Parkland shootings who started the Never Again movement to lobby for gun safety laws.
Amal Clooney was one of the many profilic keynote speakers who attended the Watermark Conference for Women in San Jose, California, on Friday, February 23, and she addressed the one topic that was weighing on everyone's minds: the Parkland high school shootings.
The human rights lawyer and her husband, George Clooney, have donated half a million dollars to support the March for Our Lives on March 24 at Washington D.C. Oprah Winfrey and Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg have also contributed $500,000 to the demonstration that is being organized in collusion with Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization. At least half a million people are expected to attend.
Amal drew upon her mother's experience fleeing with her family from the Lebanese civil war, saying, "As a parent now, I can’t imagine how terrifying that must have been," referring to her own experience becoming the mother of twins 8 months ago. She said about the United States, "It’s likely that my children will go to school here [in the United States]. I know their lives literally depend on [change being enacted]."
She expressed her support of the students who survived the shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and decided to turn their experience into a platform to promote gun control legislation and gun safety laws by founding the Never Again movement. Amal said over a week after the incident, "I’m just blown away by these students. They are turning a tragedy into advocacy."
She admired their response to their grief, saying, "I’m in awe of how courageous they are and how effective they are. I don’t think I would have had the presence of mind or the courage to do what they are doing at age 16, let alone having gone through what they have." She continued, "They are the best vehicle and best hope for change... The march we're attending is their march. They give me hope."
Amal was critical of discourse on the appropriate response to school shootings, saying, "The idea that children are scared to go to school, bullet-proof backpacks are being sold out and that students have to go through these live shooter drills, and the conclusion is, 'Let’s start arming teachers,' it just doesn’t make sense to me."
She shot down notions that the problem lay outside the widespread availability of guns in the United States, pointing out, "People say maybe it’s because there is violence in films or there is a mental health issue. But there’s violence in films and mental health issues in other countries. This is the only country where this kind of problem exists."
She called for the country to set an example for the rest of the world.