Parkland shooting survivors appear in New Jersey

It hasn’t been two weeks since the deadly school shooting rampage in Parkland, Florida, but the survivors are on an unstoppable mission to push for tougher gun laws. This past weekend they came to our area to spread their message even further. 

“Hopefully our voices will carry on to the halls of Congress and echo across the nation,” said Parkland survivor David Hogg. Hogg ran through the halls before hiding in a classroom during the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Since then, he’s been traveling across the country with other survivors, making a stop Sunday night at Temple B’Nai Abraham in Livingston, New Jersey.

“Parkland is a very Jewish area, many people go to religious camp during the summer and many of the kids like the ones I was just speaking to actually went to camp with some of the people who tragically died,” said Hogg.

Another Parkland shooting survivor, Harris Jaffe, was born in Livingston and lived here for a short time before his family moved to Florida. The high school sophomore hid in a closet at the back of his classroom while gun shots rang out in the hallway. 

“17 people who lost their lives, some of them my friends, and I just wanted to show come here and show my support,” said Jaffe.

Freshman Lauren Hogg, David’s younger sister hid behind a board in her TV production class on that fateful day.  She and her fellow survivors feel it’s their obligation to keep the victim’s memories alive and prevent another nightmare like this one from ever happening again. 

“I came here because I need people to understand that this isn’t just a one time thing, people need to understand that it can happen to them and it will if nothing is changed. So we need to get as much of the word out as we can before it gets cold you know, before media stops talking about it,” said Lauren Hogg.

“We are marching, March 24 in Washington and I hope to see you there,” said survivor Ryan Deitsch.

The survivors’ mission is far from over. David Hogg is now calling for students across the county to boycott Florida for Spring Break. He hopes a sharp decline in tourism will push his local elected officials to pass stronger gun laws.