By Marissa Perry Sharpe
On Friday, March 24, millions of kids and allies marched for what was said to be the “biggest gun control protest in a generation.” While in America the protest stems from issues with the application of the 2ndAmendment of the U.S Constitution, places like London, Paris, Mauritius, Tokyo, Stockholm, Sydney, Geneva, Mumbai and Berlin also marched in solidarity.
The March was organized by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida that took place on February 14, 2018. The mass shooting left 17 students and faculty members dead by gunman Nicholas Jacob Cruz. Cruz was a former student at Stoneman Douglas who had a history of severe mental illness and violence. So, many people ask the question, how did this person have access to an AR-15-style rifle?
There are several different answers and solutions to the gun control debate, but these students have had enough. The students collaborated with EMPOWER, the youth branch of the Women’s March. They organized a movement that began with a national walkout on March 14 for 17 minutes; 1 minute per victim. The walkout served both as a nationwide protest and memorial to honor the lives taken on February 14. Thousands of students and faculty urged Congress to “ban assault weapons, require universal background checks before gun sales, [and] pass a gun violence restraining order law that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behavior.”
The walk was proven successful with thousands of students participating across the country. But, this wasn’t enough. The March For Our Lives Protest was organized to continue to pressure Congress to pass stricter gun control laws. The main event was held in Washington, D.C, but would include satellite marches all over the world.
International protesters voiced a strong message of solidarity for U.S. lawmakers to change gun laws. In France, a country that knows the pain of gun violence all too well, protesters organized near the Eiffel Tower to voice their concerns. In Tokyo, protesters gathered silently and held signs displaying the Stoneman Douglas victims’ names.
America has a significantly different history with guns than the rest of the world, which makes for no easy solution. The 2ndamendment of the U.S Constitution was created at a time without automatic weapons and AR-15 rifles. While America prays and holds their breath until the next school shooting, hopefully Congress can create a solution to preserve citizens’ right to bear arms, while also ensuring the safety of America’s future.
You can visit https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/world-protests-march-for-our-lives_us_5ab717f2e4b008c9e5f7eecato see how the rest of the world came out for the March For Our Lives Protest.
BBC – March For Our Lives: Six key takeaways from the US gun control rallies – March 25, 2018, available at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43531391
CBS – Students inspired by Parkland walk out of class, call for gun reform – March 14, 2018, available athttps://www.cbsnews.com/news/students-walk-out-gun-reform-parkland-florida-shooting-today-2018-03-14/
CNN – March for Our Lives: Top moments that made up a movement – March 25, 2018, available at https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/24/us/march-for-our-lives-wrap/index.html
CNN – What you need to know about the national school walkout – March 12, 2018, available athttps://www.cnn.com/2018/03/11/us/national-school-walkout-march-14/index.html
Huffington Post – The Rest Of The World Showed Up To March For Our Lives – March 25, 2018, available athttps://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/world-protests-march-for-our-lives_us_5ab717f2e4b008c9e5f7eeca