Shooting survivor to politicians: We want change or we'll vote you out
Delaney Tarr, a 17-year-old survivor of the Parkland, Florida, massacre, stood before thousands of students, teachers and activists at Saturday’s March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., to vow, “We are not here for bread crumbs. We are here for real change.”
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior told ABC News before her speech that the Feb. 14 shooting, which killed 17 people, “has completely upended my priorities and my perception of everything.”
The teenager delivered an incredibly poised speech, which we’ve transcribed in full below:
My name is Delaney Tarr, and I’m here today because I’m a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student. However, I’m not here today for the media. I’m not here for the crowds, as great as you all are, for the fame, for the fun. I’m here on this stage today and I’ve been working everyday for my 17 fellow Eagles who were pronounced dead because of gunfire.
I am here for every person that has died at the hands of gun violence and for the many more whose lives were irreparably changed because of it. I think, I hope that that is why we are all here. Because this is more than just a march. This is more than just one day, one event, then moving on. This is not a mere publicity stunt, a single day in the span of history. This is a movement.
This is a movement reliant on the persistence and passion of its people. We cannot move on. If we move on, the NRA and those against us will win. They want us to forget. They want our voices to be silenced. And they want to retreat into the shadows where they can remain unnoticed. They want to be back on top, unquestioned in their corruption, but we cannot and we will not let that happen.
Today, and every day, we will continue to fight for those things that are right. We will continue to fight for common sense. We will continue to fight for our lives. We will continue to fight for our dead friends. There will be no faltering, no pauses in our cause. Every moment will be dedicated to those pieces of legislation ― every march, every meeting, every moment. All for that assault weapons ban to keep these weapons of war out of the hands of civilians who do not need them. All for the prohibition of high-capacity magazines. Because no hunter will ever need access to a magazine that can kill 17 in mere minutes. All for the reinforcement of background checks and closing of loopholes, because there must be more of a requirement for a person to access a gun than just a wad of cash.
There are so very many things, so many steps to take. Like right now, sign our petition. It takes two seconds and it matters. We will take the big and we will take the small, but we will keep fighting. When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile.
We are not here for bread crumbs. We are here for real change.
We are here to lead.
We are here to call out every single politician, to force them into enacting this legislation, to addressing this legislation, to doing more than a simple Band-Aid on a broken bone. The pressure is on for every person in power, and it will stay that way. Because they know what is coming. They know that if there is no assault weapons ban passed, then we will vote them out. They know that if there is no tightening of the background checks, we will vote them out. They know that if there is no shrinking of magazine capacity, then we will vote them out.
If they continue to ignore us, to only pretend to listen, then we will take action where it counts. We will take action every day, in every way, until they simply cannot ignore us anymore. Today we march, we fight, we roar. We prepare our signs, we raise them high. We know what we want, we know how to get it, and we are not waiting any longer.
Hear, hear, Delaney.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.