- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Parkland, Florida, shooting survivor and gun-control activist Emma González says that she now fears being recognized in public and driven off the road by gun enthusiasts.

A new Vanity Fair profile piece on the 18-year-old activist published Tuesday was promoted by the magazine on social media with a quote about her newfound fame.

“I’m still worried, when I drive down the road and I’m not wearing a hat, that someone with gun stickers on their car is going to recognize me and run me off the road,” she said in an exchange the magazine shared on Twitter.

“[The notoriety] does feel a little strange,” she added. “It’s not a bad thing though because it’s nice to know how expansive our message has gotten. If people are listening because they like the people who are delivering the message, that’s all the better because it means we’re doing our jobs, which is getting the message to everybody who needs to hear it. I never used to be afraid to have my head uncovered in public spaces. It’s not settling to have people recognize you and come up to you when your head is uncovered versus when it’s covered and nobody comes up to you. It’s a weird feeling. So if I wear a hat and sunglasses, not as many people recognize me.”

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Ms. González helped create the nonprofit organization March for Our Lives after the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Her activism landed her on Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential” list and grew her social media megaphone to 1.66 million Twitter followers.

“We’ve gotten a lot of people registered to vote,” she said. “Even if one more person who normally wouldn’t have gone to the midterms goes to the midterms this November, I personally will feel that we’ve done our jobs. And I know it’s going to be a lot more than one person. Four million people turn 18 this year in time for the midterms. So if we could get every one of those kids registered and even half of them to vote, we will have a major impact. … I most definitely feel hopeful [about America’s future] because I’ve met so many people who are ready to engage in our political system, and these are exactly the people we need to engage.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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