Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors of the Valentine’s Day Parkland school shooting, now has nearly twice the number of Twitter followers the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) has. The 18-year-old also has more Twitter followers than Dana Loesch, the NRA spokesperson she bravely took on at a CNN Town Hall event Wednesday.
The NRA has been on Twitter since 2009 and Loesch since 2007. Gonzalez only signed up to the social networking service after the Stoneman Douglas High school shooting.
House of Cards creator Beau Willimon pointed this out in a series of tweets this weekend.
“As of today, @Emma4Change now has more followers than the @NRA,” he wrote on Twitter Friday. “This is a movement. This is the future. Change is now.”
In a follow-up tweet, Willimon pointed out that it wouldn’t be long before Gonzalez’s Twitter following surpassed that of Loesch.
“The gun lobby’s influence is diminishing by the hour,” he wrote. “The influence of young progressive leaders is growing and won’t be stopped.”
On Saturday, Gonzalez did top Loesch, with 813,300 followers to Loesch’s 768,300. Willimon noted that the teenaged activist had left the NRA representative in the dust.
“It took Loesch years of shameless, mercenary shilling for the gun lobby to build her following. It only took Gonzalez days to build a bigger following by courageously speaking truth to power.”
Gonzalez, who was a typical high school senior just two weeks ago, is now one of the most vocal and visible figures of the hashtag “NeverAgain” gun violence prevention movement. Two days after the school shooting that claimed the lives of 17 of her peers, Gonzalez gave a rousing 11-minute speech at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale.
“We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks,” she said at the event. “Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because … we are going to be the last mass shooting.”
The speech quickly became viral and caught the attention of many influential figures who commended Gonzalez and her fellow survivors for speaking out against gun violence. She and some of her Stoneman Douglas High schoolmates have since captured the world’s attention and have gained the support of many, as evidenced by their growing Twitter following. They are spearheading the conversation on gun violence in America and are speaking forcefully about the need for sensible gun control measures.
During the CNN Town Hall event Wednesday, Gonzalez stood up to NRA spokesperson Loesch.
“I want you to know that we will support your two children in the way that we will not — you will not,” she said.
In an interview with People, Gonzalez said that she is focused on the upcoming March for Our Lives, which will take place on March 24 in Washington, D.C. According to the event website, March for Our Lives kids and families will take to the streets to demand for the end of gun violence and mass shootings.
Donations for the event are pouring in. George and Amal Clooney have donated $500,000 to support the cause. Their donation has been matched by Oprah Winfrey, Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn, and Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw. Business of Fashion reports that Gucci has also donated $500,000 to the March for Our Lives. It is the first major brand to do so.