NEWTOWN -- “They were saying no,” said Newtown High School student Jordan Gomes. “Like, no, no, don’t…because they were, they were getting shot, they were dying, and we can hear it.”
Gomes vividly remembers being in the school gym when Adam Lanza opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“It was just silent tears,” Gomes said. “Like everybody’s faces were just wet.
Twenty-six people, including many of Gomes’ schoolmates, were killed that day.
Five years later, Gomes is among the first wave of Sandy Hook student survivors to enter high school.
Now she’s working with dozens of student members of Jr. Newtown Action Alliance to call on lawmakers to pass gun reform in the hopes of preventing another school shooting.
“Whatever work they done isn’t making a difference,” said Isabella Wakeman, who is also a Newtown High School student and a board member of Jr. Newtown Action Alliance. “And it’s really disrespecting all of us have had our lives torn apart.”
Students members as well as some adult supporters held a protest outside of the National Shooting Sports Foundation Headquarters in Newtown Saturday as the NRA held its annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, this weekend.
“What happens in this building is they try to normalize the fact that weapons at war are on the street of the United States of America,” said Newtown parent Andrew Morosky.
The students are taking aim at the NRA by joining several hashtag initiatives.
The #NoRA initiative calls out the influence of NRA money in politics while the #NoNRAMoney campaign asks elected officials to pledge not to accept money from the NRA.
Students like Garrett Marino said they’re inspired by the Parkland Florida school shooting victims.
“They made our lives important and matter to people again,” Marino said. “Because for so long our lives really just didn’t matter.”
“If you stand with us, you’re standing with people that experience something that you have an experienced but you’re standing with them in sorrow and tragedy and helping them get through it,” said Gomes.
The co-chair of the Jr.NAA joined the STUDENTSMARCH.ORG students at their #RALLYFORREFORM protest in Dallas.