Approximately 800,000 people gathered in D.C. for the ‘March For Our Lives’ protest on March 24 to protest gun violence in America.
The protest was organized by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student survivors of the school shooting that happened on Valentine’s day. Demonstrators from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School gave passionate speeches alongside students from schools and youth programs in Chicago, New York, D.C. and California.
Many of the students voiced their solidarity with victims of previous mass shootings that have occurred in the U.S. and also used their now-national platform to bring attention to gun violence that takes place in lower-income communities as well as concerts, schools, churches, etc.
“It’s time for the nation to realize gun violence is more than just a Chicago problem or a Parkland problem,” Trevon Bosley from the BRAVE Youth Leaders of St.Sabina said. “But it is an American problem.”
The Parkland teens have remained adamant about sharing the platform with others kids from marginalized communities that are affected by gun violence regularly, but don’t get the same media attention that these teens have received.
“We’re going to make this the voting issue,” said David Hogg, Marjory Douglas High School survivor. “We are going to take this to every election, to every state, and every city. We are going to make sure the best people get in our elections to run not as politicians, but as Americans.”
Emma Gonzalez took the stage and stunned the crowd as she stood silent for several minutes to give tribute to her fallen friends. After the silence, Gonzalez continued.
“Since the time that I came out here it’s been 6 minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour before arrested. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job,” Gonzalez said.
The students have faced criticism and heavy scrutiny by multiple conservative voices including Fox News host, Laura Ingraham, who took to Twitter last week to criticize David Hogg for lack of college acceptances. Shortly after, Hogg retaliated, asking people to boycott Ingraham’s advertisers - within a matter of hours, over half of Ingraham’s top advertisers had announced they were dropping from her show.
This week it was announced that Ingraham would be taking a weeklong vacation. Coinciding with the march, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York passed a bill to implement stricter gun regulations that demand convicted perpetrators of domestic violence owning any firearms to have them confiscated.
“New York is once again leading the way to prevent gun violence,” Cuomo said. “And with this common sense reform, break the inextricable link between gun violence and domestic violence.”