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May 23, 2019

Truth NGO human rights institute

March for Our Lives: Thousands of students rally for gun control

2018/03/24, 19:26


March for Our Lives: Thousands of students rally for gun control

Truth NGO - From Washington, DC to Tokyo, students in over 800 cities and towns rally to demand an end to gun violence.

Truth NGO - From Washington, DC to Tokyo, students in over 800 cities and towns rally to demand an end to gun violence.
Thousands of students, teachers and their supporters are converging on Washington, DC and other cities worldwide on Saturday to march for their lives, demanding US legislators address recent school shootings and strengthen gun control laws.

The March for Our Lives rally is led by survivors of last month's shooting at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed after a former student allegedly went on a shooting rampage inside the school.

Students, under the banner #NeverAgain, are demanding that Congress pass a law banning assault weapons, halt the sale of high-capacity magazines to restrict access to ammunition and tighten the background check process.

They are also calling for a bipartisan effort to ramp up gun control and demanding "a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues".

"No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country," the March for Our Lives website said.

More than 800 sister marches are paralleling the mass demonstration in Washington, DC, including protests in Los Angeles, New York City, London and Tokyo.
Gun violence deaths have remained constant through the years and have a major impact on children and teens. Gun-related deaths are the third-leading cause of death for children and approximately three million are exposed to shootings each year, according to Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, an organisation advocating for gun control.
Meanwhile, pro-gun special interest groups, including the National Rifle Association (NRA), in the country are calling for the arming of school teachers to prevent future violence - a proposal that has been slammed by many students and teachers.

Following the Florida shooting, Donald Trump embraced the NRA's position to arm teachers with guns saying he would devote federal funding to train qualified teachers to handle weapons at schools.
'We need to talk about black communities too'

Caught between gun control debates are the young people affected by gun violence.

While Saturday's demonstration includes diverse students from hundreds of US cities, students of colour say they have had to deal with gun violence all their lives.
Research on the disparity in gun homicide rates has shown that gun violence has a huge impact on black children, who are four times more likely to be killed with guns, Everytown has found.

"I think it's extremely important that we talk about how students of colour do face other issues when it comes to guns," Jared Sterling, a New York City high school student who joined the national walkouts earlier this month told Al Jazeera, prior to Saturday's march.

"Lawmakers are proposing that teachers carry guns [and] that's dangerous because you'll never know if a teacher can retaliate against a student or if they worry about going outside and getting shot from anywhere else," he also said.
David Hogg, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student and #NeverAgain activist, also said reporters failed to give Parkland's minority students prominent media attention.

"My school is about 25 percent black, but the way we're covered doesn't reflect that," Hogg told Axios media on Friday.
Successes

So far, the Florida student activists have appeared to somewhat succeed in influencing the state of Florida to enact stricter gun control measures, including changing the minimum buying age to 21. The federal government has also moved to ban the devices that increase the firing speed of semiautomatic rifles, known as bum stocks.

Dozens of companies have also cut ties with the NRA after students launched the #BoycottNRA movement, threatening to boycott any firm that does business with the powerful gun lobby.
Saturday's march comes off the back of the National School Walkout earlier this month when thousands of students and teachers walked out of the classroom for 17 minutes to remember the victims of last month's shooting and demand stricter gun control.

Students and gun control advocates have called for another national school walkout on April 20 to commemorate the Columbine High School shooting in which 13 people were killed in 1999.
Saturday's march comes off the back of the National School Walkout earlier this month when thousands of students and teachers walked out of the classroom for 17 minutes to remember the victims of last month's shooting and demand stricter gun control.

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March for Our Lives: Thousands of students rally for gun control

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