Stoneman Douglas survivor calls out NRA's Wayne LaPierre for insulting gun safety advocates as “opportunists”
Carly Novell on CNN: “I just think that's disrespectful and insensitive to call us opportunists when all we're trying to do is to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else in America”
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From the February 22 edition of CNN Newsroom with John Berman and Poppy Harlow:
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JOHN BERMAN (CO-HOST): All right, so much discussions about guns in this country, gun violence, what to do about it. We just heard from the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, the executive director spoke. Joining me now is someone who has been in the middle of this for the last week, Stoneman Douglas High School student Carly Novell. You survived the shooting last week, you were at the town hall last night. Thanks so much for being with us, I really appreciate your time. The head of the NRA -- and I know a lot of the students at the school have been speaking out against the NRA over the last week -- the head of the NRA just gave a speech ,which was carried all around the country, where he said that those who have been speaking out in the wake of this tragedy, he said they're opportunists exploiting tragedy for political gain. Your reaction, Carly?
CARLY NOVELL (STONEMAN DOUGLAS STUDENT): I just think that's disrespectful and insensitive to call us opportunists when all we're trying to do is to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else in America. And we're trying to make sure that the gun laws aren't so flexible that people can obtain these guns and go into people's schools and into people's public places and kill other people. That's all we're trying to do. And I don't think that's opportunist or taking advantage of the tragedy that we just went through. We just went through a traumatic experience, and we're just trying to take action now.
BERMAN: And you hid in a closet during the shooting?
BERMAN: All right, again, I think that gives you agency to discuss this, however much you want in whatever terms you want over these next few days and for the rest of your life, frankly. To be fair to Wayne LaPierre, he did suggest that this country needs to harden its schools. He thinks that jewelry stores shouldn't be more protected than schools. In other words, more armed security in schools in this country. Is that something you support, Carly?
NOVELL: I think we do need to figure out a way to make our schools safer, but I don't think that you can arm every school in America, and I think just simply arming a school is putting a band-aid over a gunshot wound, over 100 years of gun violence in America. And that won't change if we just arm schools. This isn't just happening in schools. This is happening everywhere. And we need to do more and look at the deeper problem here, which is gun control.