Alfonso Calderon (activist)

Alfonso Calderón Atienzar[a] (born October 10, 2001)[2][3] is a Spanish-American student activist against gun violence.[6][7] He is a survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and a founding member of the Never Again MSD movement.[6][8][7]

Alfonso Calderón
Alfonso Calderon 2018.jpg
Alfonso Calderon at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner
Alfonso Calderón Atienzar[1]

(2001-10-10) October 10, 2001 (age 21)[2][3]
  • Spanish
  • American[4]
EducationMarjory Stoneman Douglas High School (–2019)
American University[5] (2019–)
Occupation(s)Student, activist
Years active2018–present
Known forAdvocacy against gun violence

Early life and activismEdit

Calderon was born in a Spanish town outside Madrid called Alcobendas, and he has been living in the United States since 2008.[9][4]

Calderon criticized lawmakers for failing to enact sensible gun laws as well as screenings to keep mentally ill people from being able to buy "military grade weapons",[8] and he criticized the National Rifle Association (NRA)[6] and their spokesperson Dana Loesch for encouraging gun proliferation[10] as well as politicians funded by the NRA. He said that student voices were not being taken seriously enough.[11] He described a proposal of arming teachers to further school safety as a "terrible idea", explaining that teachers were never meant to carry lethal weapons.[12][13] He views his advocacy as more than merely protecting Parkland students but as an effort to save human lives in general.[14] He believes that it is up to the electorate to vote out politicians who support lax gun regulations and the NRA.[7]

During the school shooting, he was locked in a closet with fellow students for three to four hours.[8][11]

I was in a closet, locked for four hours with people who I would consider almost family, crying and weeping on me, begging for their lives. I understand what it’s like to text my parents, ‘Goodbye, I might never ever, ever get to see you again. I love you.’ I understand what it’s like to fear for your life.

— Alfonso Calderon, February 22, 2018[15]


  1. ^ This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Calderón and the second or maternal family name is Atienzar.


  1. ^ "Alfonso Calderon Atienzar". LinkedIn. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b @FelixForWI (10 October 2018). "Hey y'all it's @Alfonso_Cal's birthday today!! And it's @breebxtler's tomorrow! Thank you both for all the hard work you do!!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b EST, Taylor Swaak On 2/21/18 at 4:25 PM (21 February 2018). "Who is Alfonso Calderon? Florida shooting survivor gives passionate speech in Tallahassee". Newsweek.
  4. ^ a b c Staff (February 22, 2018). "Así es Alfonso Calderón, el joven español que sobrevivió al tiroteo y lucha por el control de armas". 20minutos (Spanish news). Retrieved March 12, 2018. ...Nació en Alcobendas, una localidad cercana a Madrid, hace dieciséis años, aunque lleva ya diez viviendo en Estados Unidos (from Google translate:) He was born in Alcobendas, a town near Madrid, sixteen years ago, although he has already been living in the United States for ten years....
  5. ^ "Alfonso Calderon Atienzar | LinkedIn". Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Taylor Swack (February 21, 2018). "Who is Alfonso Calderon? Florida shooting survivor gives passionate speech in Tallahassee". Newsweek. Retrieved March 12, 2018. ...The 16-year-old junior attends Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where 17 people died in a February 14 massacre. He gave a roughly six-minute speech at the Wednesday rally in Tallahassee ...
  7. ^ a b c Emily Witt (February 19, 2018). "How the Survivors of Parkland Began the Never Again Movement". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 12, 2018. ... As Alfonso Calderon, a co-founder of Never Again ... vote people out who have been paid for by the N.R.A....
  8. ^ a b c Staff (19 February 2018). "Gun control: 'Kids are being slaughtered senselessly'". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved March 12, 2018. ...founding members Alfonso Calderon survived the massacre by hiding in a closet with classmates for three hours.... they didn't care enough to pass screenings strict enough so that someone who is clearly mentally ill ... a military grade weapon ... Calderon said. ...
  9. ^ Staff (February 24, 2018). "Alfonso Calderón, el español superviviente del tiroteo en Florida: "Si se hubieran sentado con Nikolas cinco minutos, se habría dado cuenta de que no debería tener un rifle": Alfonso Calderón, superviviente del tiroteo en Parkland y uno de los líderes del movimiento Nunca Más, afirma que cualquiera que hubiera estado cinco minutos con Nikolas se habría dado cuenta de que no debía tener un arma". La Sexta TV. Retrieved March 12, 2018. ...Calderón, de 16 años y natural de Alcobendas (Madrid), y otros adolescentes de la escuela Marjory Stoneman Douglas de Parkland, como David Hogg o Emma González, encabezan un movimiento estudiantil para reclamar a la Casa Blanca un mayor control de armas en Estados Unidos (from Google Translate:) Calderón, 16, from Alcobendas (Madrid), and other teenagers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Parkland School, such as David Hogg or Emma González, lead a student movement to demand greater control of weapons in the United States by the White House ...
  10. ^ Joseph A. Wulfsohn (February 21, 2018). "Parkland Survivor Tears Into NRA'S Dana Loesch After Contentious Town Hall: 'How Dare She'". Mediaite. Retrieved March 12, 2018. ...On Wednesday night, a survivor from last week's shooting in Parkland, FL had harsh criticisms for NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch for her appearance at CNN's town hall....
  11. ^ a b Jessica McBride (February 21, 2018). "Alfonso Calderon: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved March 12, 2018. ...Calderon ... invited to a CNN Town Hall on February 21 to address their calls for change, including to gun laws ... also in Tallahassee, Florida ... lobbied the Florida Legislature for change.... People Praised the Eloquence of Calderon ...
  12. ^ Leinz Vales (February 22, 2018). "Teachers are not meant to carry AR-15s, student survivor says". CNN. Retrieved March 12, 2018. ...(CNN)Florida school shooting survivor Alfonso Calderon said Wednesday that President Donald Trump's suggestion of arming teachers and school staff with weapons to enhance school safety was a "terrible idea."...
  13. ^ Tampa Bay Times, Bill Maxwell, March 1, 2018, Maxwell: Reasonable people do not want teachers to be armed, Retrieved March 22, 2018, "... I watched 16-year-old Alfonso Calderon ... speak with CNN’s Don Lemon about President Donald Trump’s proposal to arm teachers. This young man’s wisdom, his clear understanding of the essential role of teachers, should shame Trump and other Republicans beholden to the NRA...."
  14. ^ Staff WFORTV (February 2018). "Digital Update: MSDHS Junior Alfonso Calderon: "This Is More Than Just Parkland, It's About Human Lives"". CBS Miami. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  15. ^ College Media Network, Abby Goss, February 22, 2018, Florida Students Swarm the Capitol and Demand Reform, Retrieved March 22, 2018, "...Many students such as Alfonso, feel as if they are not taken seriously and that they do not understand the issue ... want reform...."

External linksEdit