In response to the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Florida on Valentine’s Day, huge protests INITIATED by young people were held across the country on Saturday, March 24.
Over a million protesters joined March For Our Lives, crowding streets and sidewalks. Their mission was to send a clear message to lawmakers and others in power to take the steps necessary to make schools safer, including passing more restrictive gun laws—even the banning of “assault-style” rifles.
The largest march happened in Washington, D.C., with between 200,000–800,000 protesters waiving signs and a few going on stage to deliver heartfelt speeches. Famous singers also performed on stages with jumbo screens set up so crowds could view the events unfolding.
According to the March For Our Lives website, more than 800 protests happened across the country and in many other parts of the world.
Phoenix had an estimated 15,000 protesters at the state capitol, and about 8,000 marched from downtown Tucson to the UofA Mall.
Some supporters of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” showed up at some of the marches to support their gun rights.
Media reported that March For Our Lives were the largest protests in the United States organized by young people since the massive protests to the Vietnam War.
With a movement started largely by high schoolers not yet old enough to vote, the group wants more thorough background checks on all gun buyers, to raise the minimum age of those who can buy guns, to keep guns from those with mental illness and to ban the sale of bump stocks that turn semi-automatic rifles into more like machine guns.
They also are pushing for voters in the upcoming mid-term elections to vote out lawmakers who are unwilling to step up to bring about such changes.