Last Saturday saw hundreds of thousands of protestors joining together to demand sensible gun control laws which will once and for all reign in what seems like a terrifying epidemic of mass shootings of children in their schools.
Inspired by the most recent heinous crime, the shooting to death of 17 high school students and their teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, the “March for Our Lives” gathering was a lesson in democracy that seems to be attracting some attention from lawmakers.
Not only was a mass protest planned and executed, but youth voter registration and crash courses on activism and public policy are being developed and sponsored. While hundreds of thousands of people turned out in Washington, DC, there were also 800 related marches taking place all over the United States.
Frustration has been the basic feeling of gun control activists as the number of dead from mass school shootings continued to grow until something changed as a result of the Parkland massacre. Paying the National Rifle Association little or no heed, high school students decided enough is enough.
“The adults haven’t been able to make these changes so the kids are going to show us how it’s done,” Parkland student Alex Wind said.
One student who took bullets to both legs during the Parkland shooting, Samantha Fuentes, read a poem she wrote about the attack: “I was crying tears and blood at the same time,” Fuentes read to the audience. She then stopped, bent over and threw up behind the podium.
A few moments later, after she recovered a bit she declared: “I just threw up on international television and it feels awesome!”
Another student, Emma Gonzalez, also from Parkland and one of the more recognizable faces from the attack, read the names of the Parkland victims while crying. As she took a long pause the entire crowd fell completely silent, with only the sound of cameras’ shutters and far distant sirens in the air. Students on stage and in the crowd began to chant “Never again!”
Another pause by Gonzalez lasted a full 6 minutes and 20 seconds, the amount of time the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, took to shoot down his 17 mortally wounded victims and 14 others wounded less seriously.
“This is what democracy — looks like!” the crowd of protestors chanted during the rally.