Florida students and activists march to demand change
One week after the worst mass shooting at a high school in U.S. history, thousands of students gathered in front of the capitol building in Tallahassee demanding change. Led by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, fellow students and activists made sure their voices were heard about gun control reform.
Students held meetings with both Republican and Democrat lawmakers and other Florida officials to discuss gun laws, according to NBC News. Just days after enduring a traumatizing, fatal crisis in their school and attending the funerals of their classmates, these teenagers came together to take on politicians and take action against the NRA.
It’s impossible to look at these photos and not be in awe of their strength and their conviction.
Students all over the country walked out of school yesterday in protest of gun violence, in solidarity with South Florida students — who showed up in droves to rally in Tallahassee. Several of them addressed the crowd personally.
Florance Yard, a Stoneman Douglas student, told the crowd that her parents fled Lebanon so their children would be able to live a safer life. “We cannot protect our guns before we protect our children,” she said. “We need limitations on assault weapons.”
Mark Kelly, husband to former Representative and victim of gun violence Gabrielle Giffords, also spoke. He asked how many of the students were planning to vote in the midterm elections this fall. Hundreds of hands shot through the air.
— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel) February 21, 2018
Basically, members of Congress who are in the pocket of the NRA should feel threatened AF right now. You may not be able to buy a can of beer at 18, but you sure as hell can change the world.
Students were set to meet with Florida Governor Rick Scott about gun reform as well, who — if he knew what was good for him — won’t offer his empty words and promises. Because these young adults are having none of it.
For Carmen, Meadow, Peter, Nicholas, Mr. Hixon, Coach Feis, Luke, Alaina, Jaime, Martin, Alyssa, Helena, Mr. Beigel, Joaquin, Cara, Gina, and Alexander. WE WILL grant them solace. WE WILL make a change. Do it for them. #NeverAgain
— Hope (@hopetriciaa) February 20, 2018
At one point, the students shouted “Shame on you” directly to the politicians inside capitol building. Earlier this week, the Florida state house voted against a proposal to consider removing AR-15 rifles and other assault weapons and large capacity magazines from the state.
Shame indeed. These students just spent the last week processing the fact that 17 of their fellow classmates were gunned down by an AR-15, and Florida legislators completely invalidated their experience and let them down.
Because these students aren’t taking silence and complicity on gun laws lying down, they’ve organized the “March for our Lives” on March 24, and a nationwide school walk-out on March 14, all to bring attention to the cause of better gun control.
I for one welcome our new high school overlords — because even though the burden shouldn’t be on them right now, they’ve seen firsthand how adults have failed them and they’re getting it done.