"These young people have shown up to spring us free, to say you're not here to do the work of the gun lobby."
One month after the Parkland, Florida, school gun massacre, kids across the country are moving leaders like Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to tears with their activism.
During a gun control rally at the Capitol Wednesday morning, MSNBC's Mariana Atencio asked Warren what she thought of the thousands of young people who gathered there.
"These young people have shown up to spring us free, to say you're not here to do the work of the gun lobby," Warren said. "You're here to do the work of the American people. And I believe they will lead us."
Atencio asked what is making things different this time around, and an emotional Warren replied, "This time, it's the young people, whose lives are on the line, whose futures are on the line, and that's the point they bring home every minute."
"That it's their friends, it's themselves, who are at risk," Warren continued. "And, boy, they drive that in an up close and personal way that nobody else does."
Following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, young people began making a difference almost immediately. The survivors refused to be silenced or co-opted for photo ops by Trump or his education secretary, and quickly inspired other kids to act in solidarity.
Although they faced unprecedented and frightening resistance that included threats and an intimidation campaign by the NRA, the Parkland kids have persisted, and so have kids across the country. Wednesday's walkouts are a prelude to the nationwide "March for Our Lives" that's scheduled for March 24.
Their activism has already produced some results, including the passage of a bill in Florida that raises the age limit to purchase firearms, but which would also allow the arming of school staff. More importantly, they have kept the nation focused on gun control far longer than it has following other gun massacres.