From Florida to France today millions of high school students, teachers, parents, and supporters are coming together for The March For Our Lives. The march showcases a move for stronger gun laws. This all started in Florida on Valentine’s Day 2018 when 17 students, teachers, and staff members gunned down in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
There are marches set for the Bay Area, Orlando and all around the state of Florida. Around the Sunshine State, there is expected to be nearly 50,000 participants will be marching.
Meanwhile, the March for Our Lives rally is expected to draw well in excess of 500,000 protesters; that would match last year’s women’s march and make this one of the largest Washington protests since the Vietnam era.
The march is expected to bolster claims that the nation is ready to enact sweeping changes to its gun control laws. More than 800 marches are planned in cities across America and dozens of locations overseas to be held at roughly the same time.
Washington is ready for big events and protests, but today’s gathering has prompted more attention and speculation than usual. Washington officials say they are prepared to handle the crowds — more prepared than they were for the women’s march, which far exceeded the organizers’ official predictions of 300,000.
The protesters, many of them high school students, claim that the youth leadership of this initiative is what will set it apart from previous attempts to enact stronger gun-control legislation.
Polls indicate that public opinion nationwide may indeed be shifting on an issue that has simmered for generations, and through dozens of mass shootings. A new poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 69 percent of Americans think gun laws in the United States should be tightened. That’s up from 61 percent who said the same in October of 2016 and 55 percent when the AP first asked the question in October of 2013.
Overall, 90 percent of Democrats, 50 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of gun owners now favor stricter gun control laws.
But even with claims of historic social momentum on the issue of gun control, the AP poll also found that nearly half of Americans do not expect elected officials to take action. Among the questions facing march organizers and participants will be how to translate this one-day event, regardless of turnout, into meaningful legislative change.
One way is by channeling the current energy into mid-term congressional elections this fall. Students in Florida have focused on youth voter registration and there will be a registration booth at the Saturday rally.
SOME RESEARCH USED IN THIS STORY WAS PROVIDED BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS THE VIDEO IS PROVIDED BY – MARCH FOR OUR LIVES.