After February’s mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, young people have demanded politicians enact common sense gun laws.
Today, exactly a month after former student Nikolas Cruz allegedly walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people, students across the nation walked out of class to demand change.
According to NBC News, nearly 200,000 people in all 50 states were slated to participate in today’s walkout, which began at 10 a.m. in each time zone. Thousands of students and supporters converged in Washington, D.C. to take their complaints directly to those in position to institute stricter gun control laws.
“Their right to own an assault rifle does not outweigh our right to live,” one student activist said during a speech in the nation’s capital (above). “The adults have failed us. This is in our hands now, and if any elected official gets in our way, we will vote them out…”
Students of all races and backgrounds participated in today’s demonstrations. In Chicago, many teens who have lost friends and family to gun violence took to the streets to tell politicians that they need to do more to keep them safe.
“It’s really personal to me,” one Chicago teen said to MSNBC. “Gun violence is personal to me because I know that as a Black man, especially in Chicago, that could be me or any of my cousins or my friends, who I hold dear to me.”
While he acknowledged that common sense gun laws should have been passed long ago, the young man in Chicago said, “It’s up to us, we’re taking up the mantle and we’re doing what we can.”
In Broward County, Florida—where Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is located — racial justice group the Dream Defenders documented students from more than a dozen of high schools who walked out to demand an end to senseless gun violence.
“Students from 15 Broward County schools did a #walkout this morning and are converging on the school board to demand that their teachers remain unarmed after [Florida Governor Rick Scott] signed a bill last week allowing for teachers to have guns,” the group tweeted during the demonstration.
On March 24, young people will once again converge on Washington, D.C. for the “March For Our Lives,” a rally organized by survivors of the Parkland shooting to once again pressure lawmakers to pass stricter gun control legislation.