Demand for gun control culminates in nationwide March for our Lives protest

Jim Lo Scalzo  EPA-EFE  REX via Shutterstock

Jim Lo Scalzo EPA-EFE REX via Shutterstock

Survivors of the deadly shooting rampage at a Parkland, Florida, high school are set to lead thousands Saturday in a March for Our Lives on Washington, delivering their impassioned pleas for stricter gun control law to the nation.

MSD stands for Marjory Stoneman Douglas-the high school where a gunman killed 17 people in February.

Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke at the Tranquility Park event Saturday morning, one of several anti-gun rallies being held across the USA on Saturday in response to last month's school shooting in Florida and other mass shootings. More than 20,000 rallied in Parkland near the school.

Bearing signs reading "We Are the Change", "No More Silence" and "Keep NRA Money Out of Politics", protesters packed Pennsylvania Avenue from the stage near the Capitol, stretching many blocks back toward the White House.

But it's not just Washington that's seeing those protests. Inner city children need more attention and resources to deal with the violence they face. Many held signs with slogans including "Am I Next?" They also toted homemade signs, with messages such as "Roses Are Red/Violets Are Blue/Guns Don't Die/My Classmates Do", and "AR-15s/Kill/Ban One/Save Many".

"We've had students bringing knives to school because we don't know what will happen to us next", he said. The group said in a statement that the state should address mental health and crime instead of gun ownership. "We're going to show we want action".

A number of Marjory Stoneman Douglas students made speeches at today's March For Our Lives rally for gun reform.

Organizers of the "March for Our Lives" rally in Washington hoped their protest would match in numbers and spirit last year's women's march, one of the biggest Washington protests since the Vietnam era and one that far exceeded predictions of 300,000 demonstrators.

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She said: "After our own school shooting at Dunblane, new gun ownership laws were introduced in Britain and that's exactly what's needed in the United States, where gun deaths are a national tragedy".

On the other side of the country, veteran marcher Roi Solberg, 78, said it comes down to the kids. They chanted "freedom!" as they marched.

"We want to continue what we're doing, especially leading up to November", she said.

Students in Parkland have teamed up with other student organizers across the country planning sister events and offered tool kits to help them get organized. Participants are fighting not just for students but for all victims of gun violence.

"It is our time as youth in the community to make a difference", said Marvell Reed, a 10th-grader at Barack Obama School of Career & Technical Education.

It should be noted that domestic violence is a frequent factor in 57 percent of mass shootings (61 of 107 incidents) in America, as Everytown for Gun Safety has determined that in 61 of 107 incidents, the shooter killed a current or former spouse or intimate partner or other family member. Take action rather than saying they're in our prayers.

Caitlin Waters, co-organizer of the Paris event, said it's important for Americans overseas to let Washington know that they want more gun control.

"I just threw up on global television and it feels great", she said to loud cheers afterward.

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