Thousands gathered in Washington on Saturday to protest gun violence and urge lawmakers to pass stricter gun control laws.
Tens of thousands of people fed up with gun violence in America converged on Washington on Saturday to call for stricter regulations on guns. Hundreds of other cities across the US and around the world planned solidarity marches as well.
The protests — collectively called the "March for Our Lives" — comes just over a month after 17 people were gunned down at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
On February 14, a gunman shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Following the shooting, on Saturday, tens of thousands of students, parents, teachers, and others supporting gun control filled the streets in Washington, DC.
Students and families from all over the country traveled to DC to join the march.
One family from Westchester, New York said they traveled there to raise awareness about gun violence and to support the Parkland students.
Nine-year-old Emma Weill-Jones participated in a rally in Philadelphia.
Over 200 students, teachers, and parents from Newtown, Connecticut, are marching as well in honor their friends and family who were killed in a school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.
The main event was organized in Washington.
Student survivors from the Parkland massacre, who have since mobilized against gun violence, organized the march.
Some celebrities, lawmakers, and gun control groups supported the march, helping fund the organizers and bus people into Washington who otherwise might not have been able to attend.
Hundreds of other protests took place in cities around the world as well.
The protestors aimed their frustrations at the National Rifle Association (NRA), one of the country's most powerful lobbying groups and a key defender of the Second Amendment.
Gun control activists are also calling on lawmakers who support the NRA to be voted out of office.
"We are going to make this the voting issue," David Hogg, a senior at Stoneman Douglas and staunch supporter of gun control, said during a speech at the march. "We are going to take this to every election in every state and every city. We are going to make sure the best people get into our elections to run not as politicians but as Americans."
Gun control activists tend to perceive the NRA as an impediment to what they refer to as "common sense" solutions to gun violence.
Kyle Kashuv, another student survivor from Stoneman Douglas who has been an outspoken advocate of the Second Amendment, decided not to attend Saturday's march in DC.
Kashuv, who disagrees with gun control and has met with lawmakers to shore up background checks, explained his decision not to attend to Fox Business Network: "I could march, but I think my time would be much better well spent meeting with legislators."
Source: Fox Business Network
One of the lawmakers Kashuv met with was Sen. Marco Rubio, who commended the protestors for exercising their First Amendment rights. "While I do not agree with all of the solutions they propose, I respect their views and recognize that many Americans support certain gun bans," he said in a statement. While protests are a legitimate way of making a point, in our system of government, making a change requires finding common ground with those who hold opposing views."
Many of the protestors who attended the march are pushing for stronger background checks as well.
They're also calling for a ban on assault rifles like the AR-15, which was the type of gun used in the Parkland shooting and many others.
"In other countries, this isn't really a problem anymore because they realized the problem and they fixed it," Nafisat Pade, 20, told Business Insider. "They found a solution, which would be stronger gun control."
"I have a dream that enough is enough, and that this should be a gun free world," Yolanda King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr, said on Saturday. "Spread the word, have you heard, all across the nation, we are going to be a great generation."
Thousands gathered in Washington on Saturday to protest gun violence and urge lawmakers to pass stricter gun control laws. Read Full Story