BY CRAIG STEWART
Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets around Penn Quarter, in D.C, participating in “March for Our Lives”, as they protested against shootings and gun violence in schools and demanded for stronger gun control laws. Many people held signs that read things like, “protect our kids not the guns” and, “enough is enough”. This has been one of the biggest student-led protests in America since the Vietnam War with almost 200,000 participants.
More than 800 other marches took place in many different cities across America and even overseas. The most recent school shooting, Feb. 14, 2018 Majority Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida took 17 lives, started the trend that lead to protesting. Since the protest is led by students, many believe that it will impact society stronger than other protests. This is due to the fact that people are hearing it from the students prospective and their experiences, fears, and opinions. People began speaking around noon but the streets were packed as early as 8 a.m. I personally wanted to get their around 9:30a.m. to get a good spot before it started, but before even getting there, my hotel the JW Marriott Washington DC at 1131 Pennsylvania Ave Nw had about a 20 minute wait just to get down the elevator.
There were hundreds of people were in the hotel lobby getting ready to go for the protest as well. Which was just astonishing on how many people were supporting the cause. They never expected such a great turn out. This was just one hotel, still thousands of people were going to the march. What was an amazing sight to see was that it wasn’t just kids with their parents but also adults by themselves.
Vietnam War Veteran, Jim Stakem, who has lived in D.C for most his life, states, “I haven’t been to protest since the Vietnam days but it does not compare to this, I love this and this is the right thing to do.”
Stakem went more on about what the next generation should be doing if they want stricter gun laws.
“This next generation has to stand up for themselves because there the future for our country and they have to start acting now if there is change for our wonderful country so it better for the generations behind them,” Stakem said.
Many of the leaders of the protesters were high school students, who have all experienced situations involving gun violence in their lifetime.Each with sad but inspiring stories, kids all from different backgrounds, losing family members, friends and or classmates.
Hearing students speak with such concern and passion should help society understand that we need to work together to fix this problem so that we can ensure that people will no longer use guns as a form of communication and to help everyone feel safe in their schools and workplaces.