(CNN)She strode on stage at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington over the weekend, and listed the names of the 17 students and staff gunned down at her high school in Parkland, Florida. And then she went silent.

Minutes ticked by. One. Two. Three. Four, Five,  It was a visceral moment -- one that an analyst called “ he loudest silence in the history of US social protest.” It was the 18-year-old’s way of showing the world how it felt to crouch in a school room for 6 minutes and 20 seconds while a murderer carried out his shooting spree.

Here's what you need to know about high school senior Emma Gonzalez:
She's "18, Cuban and bisexual:" That's how Gonzalez began a powerful essay she wrote for Harper's Bazaar. She went on to say:  "I'm so indecisive that I can't pick a favorite color, and I'm allergic to 12 things. I draw, paint, crochet, sew, embroider—anything productive I can do with my hands while watching Netflix.

"But none of this matters anymore."  She hid in the auditorium while Nikolas Cruz was firing on her classmates: Gonzalez says that as she waited in the dark room at Marjory Stoneman Douglas on February 14, she searched Google News for updates. 

When it was clear what was unfolding, she comforted some of the students around her before first responders opened the doors and told them to run.

Her father fled Cuba and is a lawyer: Gonzalez was born in the US. Her dad sought refuge from Fidel Castro’s regime by moving to New York in 1968.  Her mother is a math tutor and worries about her: I

She had to make a Powerpoint to convince her parents to let her shave her head: Shaving her head wasn't political; it was practical. "I decided to cut my hair because it was a pain in the neck, if you'll forgive the pun," she told her school's Humans of New York-style Instagram account. "It was really hot all the time; it was very cumbersome and very heavy, leading to a lot of headaches."

She became a household name when she called out lawmakers' "BS": Just four days after the shooting, the 5'2 Gonzalez stood on boxes to reach the microphones and delivered a fiery speech at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

”I had no idea that my speech was going to be broadcast nationally," she said speaking into her cell phone's camera. "My mom killed her battery trying to film it 'cause she didn't think it was going to be anywhere," she added."My name is a household name now."

And then she tussled with the NRA:  At a CNN Town Hall about the future of gun control, she pointedly told NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, who wouldn’t directly answer her question: “  I want you to know we will support your two children in a way that you will not.”

She has more Twitter followers than the NRA:  She created the @Emma4Change account four days after the shooting to amplify calls for stricter gun control. She has built a legion of more than 1 million followers. The NRA, which joined Twitter in 2009, has 636,000 followers of its main account.

She’s been on the cover of Time: The April 2 issue of the magazine features Marjory Stoneman Douglas students who are leading the national conversation about gun control. Along with Gonzalez, it also features David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Alex Wind and Jaclyn Corin with the word “ENOUGH,” written in bold letters and imposed across the image.

She’s still planning on college after graduation: Just four days before the shooting, Gonzalez went on a tour of New College of Florida in Sarasota. That's still her plan, People magazine reported.

Hundreds of thousands, many of them teenagers, took to the streets of the US capital on Saturday to demand politicians take action on gun control and put a stop to the school shootings that have become a tragically regular occurrence.

Organizers,  said they expected the March For Our Lives rally to attract some half a million protesters, angered by the lack of progress on curtailing a long history of gun violence in the US that has claimed dozens of young people’s lives, most recently at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in Florida last month.

By noon, crowds thronged Pennsylvania Avenue under the shadow of the US Capitol Building in the early spring sunshine. Demonstrators were so densely packed that the march had become more of a standing protest.  

'I don't want to be next'

“We just don't want anyone else to lose their lives over something that should have been solved 19 years ago after Columbine," said Kathryn, a 15-year-old high school student from Virginia, referring to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre that claimed 13 lives. 

Since then, active shooter drills, armed guards and metal detectors have become an increasingly common part of daily life for many of America's school pupils and young marchers said they had had enough of living in fear.

"It's horrible not to feel safe in your own school. We should be worried about exams, not about getting shot,” said Kathryn. "I don't want to be next," added her school friend, Mia, aged 14.

Sister protests were also held in hundreds of cities across the country and across the world, as far away as London, Paris and Tokyo.


MIAMI — Hundreds gathered at the fairgrounds here for a major gun show held just three days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, less than 50 miles north.  Many came to the 500-booth expo with a renewed desire to protect themselves. 

The event, sponsored by Florida Gun Shows, is well within driving distance from Parkland, where 17 students and staff were killed on Wednesday when former student Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire with AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.  Seventeen others made it to the various ER facilities.

Jorge Fernandez, a manager working the floor at the gun show says he’s expecting a large turnout of gun enthusiasts at the event, which runs through the weekend.   "We don't want people going out to buy guns and using them to kill people," said Fernandez. "But we do need to realize that lawfully licensed gun owners have the right to defend themselves."  

That is a sentiment half of all Floridians agree with, according to an October research study complied by the University of South Florida in the wake of the Las Vegas and Pulse shooting massacres. Organizers expressed their condolences on the shooting, which has reignited the national conversation on gun control legislation. “ there’s no disrespect or insensitivity intended by this long-planned gun show,” a statement from organizers said.  

But one moron (at least one in every crowd though I suspect more than one here) in a booth said,  “ shooting’s are good for business”.  It depends on how you interpret what he said.  

My partner had to hold me back as I was about to unleash some loud unsympathetic thoughts to this useless twerp.

PICTURE:  With a variant of the AR-15 in the foreground, patrons peruse weapons at a gun show in Miami, Florida, on Feb. 17, 2018. Now in the foreground, thats an AR clone, kills just as good as the real origional 
Colt Sporter for only $529.00, next is the RUGER brand at $549.00, and finally the Smith and Wesson contribution at $579.00.   

But thats not all, you can improve the killing machine with all kinds of accessories.  Probably other than the Colt 1911, the Glocks, and Remington Shotguns, more accessories are the highlight for the AR.  After that with power steering, power brakes, stereo, special paint, two all beef patties and special sauce, radar, night scopes, bigger magazines, and bipods,  and easily hit 2000+ plus with one of the really bigly brand names like Sig-Sauer and truly be respected when you walk around the gun-show.  

Just what you need to shoot that intruder in your home ten feet away.  A miss with that rifle will put a round into your kids room, or your neighbors house.  I’m guessing based on what I saw at these shows, 90 percent own one now for all the wrong and dangerous reasons.

The deadly shooting in Parkland has at least one gun vendor outraged at the systemic flaws that allowed Cruz to get an AR-15. "The government needs to do its job and they dropped the bomb and it’s pretty freaking sad," said Keith Moroe owner of Pompano Gun and Pawn. "You're damn right, I'm scared everyday. It could have been my children, my grandchildren." 

In Florida, described as one of the weakest states when it comes to gun restrictions, you must to be 18 buy a rifle, but 21 to buy an actual handgun.  That fact is a glaring problem, which some outraged residents say needs to be addressed. 

"It's just confusing," said a woman who identified herself only as Sho. "The shooter was young enough to buy a gun, but not old enough to get a drink." 

Speaking directly to elected officials at a vigil in Parkland earlier this week, Broward County Sherriff Scott Israel drew thunderous applause when he declared, "If you want to keep gun laws as they are now, you will not get elected in Broward County."   While there may be a climate shift on the gun debate in some parts of South Florida, there’s no sign of a shift at all at the Florida guns expo at the Miami Dade Fairgrounds, which drew hundreds of gun enthusiasts across the state.   Despite heavy criticism on the timing of this event and heated remarks on social media, no protesters appeared to be at the event. 

I do not want to harp on this, as giving any space to relate to gun shows anymore as a sporting event is a disgrace to any kind of recognition of some people as humans capable of non-reactive common sense thinking and pressured by personal loss of values and common normal life values.  These are not gun shows any more.  These are gun suppliers feeding the market publicly and mostly without any concern for the end results.  And they do a great job making lots of money based on fear and paranoia.  Thats why gun sales go up after each incident and heinous killing. 

June, 2016 -  My buddy from one of our Military Support Organizations called me and he had discount coupons in hand, a nice lunch for us in the offing and offered to drive, to the Tampa Fairgrounds huge GUN SHOW and if we didn’t see anything exciting,  Bass Pro Shops a few miles away was having a sale. 

We both hunt, or have hunted, fish and I have been around weapons from my 13th birthday, well trained, staying current, former military and competitive shooter in all disciplines and thats over sixty years.  And the Bass Pro Shops are mecca for the outdoors.

I have owned my fair share of rifles and shotguns assault weapons and plinkers and attended many gun shows, even during my competition days as I tried to sell software I wrote for club scoring, for scoring matches, target and statistical counts to supplement my competition shooting.   I also attended shows looking for bargains in shotgun shells and casings, wads etc, lead bullets, powder and primers as I was loading four calibers. 

I was also a competition shooter, which means in most cases you have declared war on paper targets and steel plates.  All three disciplines I participated in is one expensive game averaging 50-75 cents a round and some days in practice shooting 500 rounds, and ammo is expensive.  Do the math. I rose to hierarchy in our shooting clubs till being called “the old man”. 

Besides the most common guns for competition, the pistol, the rifle and the shotgun known as the “Trifecta of Being Broke” and we didn’t even hit Cowboy shooting, I did get into Sporting Clays Skeet and Trap, which cost as much as a good late model used car.  Fortunately I had friends in the industry.  Then you add the three or four Dillion loaders because ammo is expensive and I was going through 800-1000 a week.

When I found out I was going to get TMJ if I persisted in shooting, Its simple, your jaw unhinges it self and can get seriously not a good thing.  That killed anything with a rifle because you jaw near the cheekbone is where the rifle just happens to fit and really accelerate the problems.

We paid for the parking and entry.  8.00 for parking and 10.00 per head, and the line to get in was down the block.  Inside it felt different, the rhetoric and attitude of those handling those weapons from the old days.  Fewer hunting rifles, Skeet, Sporting Clays and Trap guns.  Every table was covered with military arms.  You could have supported a small island or a small third world countries insurgents or guerillas.  

And the effect it has on the public who appeared not trained to question but blindly following some made up propaganda that they don’t question.  I’m not calling the participants anything like  stupid, or dangerous, just susceptible and plenty of bad scenarios, more than a fair amount, promoting the over the cliff lemming effect. 

I had nothing better scheduled, hadn’t been to the shows in years,  and had a gut feeling due to recent shootings, beside I might find a story and some small, items I wanted for my hurricane survival kits like fire starters,water purification and some cheap ammo for practice as the range prices were high.  Retired, but I still try to make a range minimum once a month for defensive shooting and keep my skills up to par.  Winter time, I usually go twice at two different ranges, one inside and one outside, different slant and lighting on things. 

This is fairly common across Florida as the gun shows are owned by one or two promotors who just happen to sell more guns than the rest of some states.   Two thirds of the tables were from one dealer.  You enter and they sell you a ticket for 9-10 dollars.  A dollar off coupon mailed to you via eMail and you save a dollar.  The greeter then asks if you have a gun with you. No weapons,  I assured him.

If you did have a weapon with you, it was inspected and  you watched them secure the weapon unloaded with a wire tie so that it was not possible to be used. Regardless I have been at two shows and somehow a gun did go off.  Had to have been one of the exhibitors who rarely get checked and it’s grounds for them to be banned.  I guess those two incidences, were the immaculate conception of unforced errors in firepower.

The show was graced with the usual normal everyday citizens looking for self defense, protection, curiosity, killing an afternoon, male bonding, showing siblings the sport as a means of tribal acceptance, and preservation, sort of like macho land and you could not miss the rhetoric, it was all over the place.

The problem was the lies got bigger, still around and supported by a sub culture.

A few self proclaimed super patriots, defenders of the faith, some elaborately decorated with macho tattooed skulls essential artwork,  basic nobodies, we call them “Wannabes’s” playing their role, complete with their look, attitudes, tough, imaging, lots of tattoos on bare arms, lies and prejudices talking their usual trash about Black presidents and Black  helicopters and why they are going to support T-RUMP, their extensive training as SEALS other special forces and military expertise.  

I failed to take pictures there because it ruins my blending in and they, some of the ass clowns look-a-like wannabe’s might be offended, I wouldn’t waste the pixels.  They are the what I call the gun-show poster children. One jerk had three guns on slings all over him with everything except a Lawes rocket.  

They were a shorty shotgun, an AR-15 decked to look like a M4-A1 with everything but radar  and two sidearms.  Who was he impressing...?  You are at a gun-show you frickin idiot , everyone knows what they look like, he just paraded and paraded.

There were other poster children running around with a service dog that wasn’t, parading his wife with stilettos, ultra short shorts, very tight braless t-shirt complete with a very nice plastic boob structure and physical stature, and eyes all on her.  under what topless club she worked for...

Kids in strollers dressed as they came straight from church.  Some still, on the nipple.

NOTE:  In thirty-five years of working and building Military Memorials and Military Charities, these are not the people I have gotten to know. I know and have worked with the real guys.  Six generals ( 4 stars) and their staff.  Many of those attending are what I call Church Goers.  They go to church, just don’t live by the faith, very similar to talking the talk and not walking the walk, and off to the gun-show.

A fitting quote attributed to Mahatma Ghandi,  “ I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ “.  Just might have been a repeat. A similar quote appears to be from an Indian philosopher named Bara Dada, brother of Rabindranath Tagore. The full quote from Dada appears to be from the mid-1920s: “Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians, you are not like him.”

With an able body of listeners soaking it all in, it struck me as very similar to the crowd at an awards dinner given at the annual Hatfield and McCoy Family Hour event.  The finale is when the topics turned to, “ Who did what to who first”  and hopefully just rhetoric, the spiel began. 

Many directors of misinformation, those pseudo patriots pretending for their own glorification,  you would not believe the crap spelled out as gospel, and I just listened and observed.   A few times I wondered whether to intervene, and was smart enough not to because some of these people were beyond or below normalcy and were walking on their knuckles.  The knuckle draggers like Chimps are from the family HOMINIDAE, along with GORILLAS, HUMANS and ORANGUTANS.  most of the time they are called Troglodytes...

The day before, Donald Trump had accepted the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, on the tables were T-Shirts Make America Great, “Trump for President” and “Trump Army”  T-shirts.   They had the usual anti Hillary shirt and other disdainful products for sale.  One thought rang in my brain,  I was attending a  Moron Believers Convention.

Donald Trump and Wayne LaPierre, birds of a feather...

Pushing personnel protection , you should have lots of guns, maybe a golf bag full so you can select the right one because you never know when the government is going to send their Jackbooted thugs in black helicopters, or a home invasion by immigrants or just some local crooks and gangsters.  At the show, there were ten lanes filled with every kind of weapon imaginable.  Im guessing 95% or better were either Military style AR’s and combat shotguns, high capacity pistols with little purpose other than offense or claimed defense  and all kinds of accessories.  

At one time the two most popular military weapons sold were the venerable Colt 1911 pistol and the Colt AR-15, duplicate of the M-16 except for the sear converting it from semi-auto to full auto.  With no patent protection, the Colt AR-15 variants today include those by more than enough major manufacturers like Ruger, Smith and Wesson, and specific custom shops like Rock River, Bushmaster, Remington, DPS, STAG, and about six others.  

On a large amount of tables there were the DIY components handily parked and organized so you could build your own.  Only the receiver has to be registered and you are off and running with the weapon custom tailored for your needs.  

The 1911 handgun, my favorite of all time has about thirty companies both factory on line and custom grades available in every imaginable configuration bought with a credit card and a clean background.

What did I buy?  My favorite homemade beef jerky, one guy there has the best I ever had, and the best gizmo at the show was Fire Starter Model Three as seen once on Naked and Afraid since the bow drills didn’t work well this wet season.  This was not the show for the Sportsman Organization for Sportsmen as I knew as the NRA years ago.  Sports had nothing to do with this show.  This was a paranoia convention of media whipped citizens.  

Fear prevailed, some of the folks looked scary, dressed for the occasion and when speaking appeared to have graduated magna-cum-loudmouth with barely a degree from the six grade.  Some of these scary folks carrying or shouldering elaborate versions of the M-16 tricked with SLIDE STOCK option that turns it into a FULL BLOWN Assault rifle.  In some cases faster. And it’s sold with an accompanying 100 round magazine.  It was the device used in the Vegas Massacre. 

Knives galore filling tables in every color of the rainbow for sale. Some of the more aggressive looking participants wore big knives on their belt and one dork carried a Samurai sword knockoff cross back fashion.  I termed him the Ninja Schmuck.  

Add the backdoor gun deals at gun shows, which I have witnessed enough times and nothing being done about it and you wonder whether the government is doing anything.  The non FFL “Buyers” are standing at the front door trying to buy guns even before those coming to the show to trade or buy components can get inside, it’s been right out in the open.  Cash on the spot, no hassle , no paperwork, and six months later you too can get a call from the ATF since your registered weapon or fingerprints on it were just used in a shooting maybe in Chicago.

Obviously there is not enough funding, voted down in the GOP house nor enough policing of the industry at these gun shows all promulgated by the public relations department of the NRA.  A gang banger in Chicago or elsewhere will pay three times what the gun is worth because it’s free drug money,  it is not registered, no paperwork, cash and I don’t know you.  

Not the same group of people today as their was in the past. The economy, the media has fanned the flames. I do not like more laws as much as you do. But compromise is a good word and a few small controls worded correctly would both satisfy both sides. There are loopholes, there are procedures that need to be in place.   I see violations all the time at gun shows from those working the dark side.  I saw four deals just at this one show and I didn’t even get down one row. 

At another show,  before I retired, I had my rifles with me since I was getting out of long rifle and shotgun because of the TMJ.  And I got hit five times from the parking lot to the front door if I was willing to sell for cash on the spot.  Some of these guys were familiar faces from previous shows.

I eventually sold it to a buyer, who were my friends at the local gun shop, they took my AR in trade for a nice .45 and did both paperworks for a $25 fee.  If you are contemplating selling your legal registered Pistol, Revolver, AR or AK-47 AKM, or Abrams tank, better get it documented with a notary or verifiable witness and plenty of identification from the new owner.   

The ATF, FBI, and other members of Law Enforcement  are the enemy of the bad guy.  They will come to see you, they will make inquires to the various lists and credit exchanges which record those inquires.  You don’t need that notoriety.  If I sold my guns to my brother, I would have that form since I can’t guarantee it wouldn’t be stolen from him.  And they are relentless.  

By capitulation with unregistered weapons, a simple solution to stop this traffic would simply credit the first buyer with the same, less or more financial penalty as the bad guy who got the gun and used it.  Overnight there would be a scramble. It would instantly stop the no registration program.   The cell phone of you and your “selfie” gun friend is another valuable tool. 

And the deaths in this country keep mounting by guns with no registration. Your dues do not support the sporting side of the industry, they are bribes to our political officials.  And other information spread, literally endorsed by and put forth by the NRA throws fuel on the fire, stirs up the fringe idiots to taking things into their own hands.

The NRA of today is not your friend, they are doing nothing to prevent killing people... they talk the talk but fall flat on their face while walking...fortunately they use their knuckles...just like Troglodytes.