Parkland shooting survivors speak for gun control change in Wayne

WAYNE — Activists and students from Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida gathered in Wayne for stronger gun control.

Taylor Morales, 18, has spent the last eight months reflecting on the changes in her life since surviving the Valentine’s Day shooting at her high school in Florida.

“I am only 18, I shouldn’t know the sound of gunshots as well as I do, I shouldn’t be able to recall the sight of bloody children laying still in my school’s hallway,” says Morales.

Morales and her former classmate, Macey Wonacott, made a visit to William Paterson University on Thursday to talk about what it’s like to survive a mass shooting and how the issue of gun violence has become such a significant part of their lives.

“We need to fix the issue of how easy it is to be able to get a gun. We need background checks that are actually useful, it should not be so simple that you walk out of a store in 15 minutes with a gun in your hand,” says Wonacott.

The two took part in a panel of speakers demanding change. Wonacott’s mission has become about getting lawmakers to understand that the Parkland shooting stripped the safety from her life.

“We’re asking for everyone to talk to their politicians and that we need to work together, it’s not enough that they’re just sitting in their offices saying they want change and then when we show up they send us away, it’s not okay because they’re representing us,” says Wonacott.

Thursday’s panel discussion was a lead in to the school’s performance of 26 Pebbles, a play based on testimonies of Newtown community members after the Sandy Hook shooting. The play will begin its run at the Shea Center for Performing Arts on Nov. 13.