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Parkland survivor urges Congress to reject Trump court pick

September 7, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — A student who survived the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, urged senators Friday to reject the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Aalayah Eastmond said that if Kavanaugh doesn’t have the decency to shake hands with the father of a shooting victim, he shouldn’t be able to “make life-changing decisions” affecting real people.

She was referring to Fred Guttenberg, who tried to shake hands with Kavanaugh earlier in the week. Guttenberg’s daughter, Jamie, died in the February attack that killed 17 at the high school.

Guttenberg extended his hand to Kavanaugh, but the judge did not reciprocate. A White House spokesman said security intervened before Kavanaugh could take his hand.

Kavanaugh this week told senators he’s “very aware of the real-world consequences” of gun violence.

Eastmond survived by hiding under the body of classmate.

“I told God that I knew I was going to die; I asked to please make it fast,” she said and called her parents to say her final goodbyes.

Authorities picked body matter from her hair, collected her bloody dress and placed her in a chemical suit.

“I completely broke down,” she said, adding that her mother suffered a miscarriage a few days later.

Eastmond, who has become an advocate for gun safety measures and spoke during the national March for Our Lives in March, said her 18-year-old uncle was also killed by gun violence in New York.

“As you consider what to do and who to appoint to make and keep us safer from gun violence, remember my story, remember my classmates who died, remember the communities of color that face mass shootings every day,” she said.

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