Students flock to gun control march

Students have been on the receiving end of attacks.
Students have been on the receiving end of attacks.
Even if you can’t get to Washington, D.C., you will probably witness student activists in motion Saturday.

    The March for Our Lives, led by survivors of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, will take place in the nation’s capital March 24. But the students, who are calling for gun control measures, have inspired 833 marches in cities and towns worldwide.
   From California to Cork, Ireland, students will be out in force. A website sells T-shirts emblazoned with the March for Our Lives slogan, as well as the chant, “We call BS,” from a passionate speech given by student Emma Gonzalez soon after the shooting. The students also have a Go Fund Me campaign to help pay for expenses.
    So far, they can claim at least one policy victory -- a new law in Florida includes a mandatory three-day waiting period to purchase a gun and raises the age to buy a rifle to 21 years old.
     Impressive -- especially in light of the fact that other organizations long have been pushing for the same goals. Here are four other groups and how they started:   

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence: The group, initially called the National Coalition to Ban Handguns, was formed in 1974 at the instigation of the United Methodist Church, which was attempting to curtail rising handgun violence in the U.S., according to Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture and the Law (ABC-CLIO; 2002), edited by Gregg Lee Carter. As membership grew in the 1980s and 1990s, the organization changed its name. It now describes itself as a “thought leader in the modern gun violence prevention movement.” The focus is implementing evidence-based legislation.      

Stop Handgun Violence: The nonprofit was founded in 1994 by businessman John Rosenthal and Michael Kennedy (1958-1997), whose father, Robert F. Kennedy, was shot and killed while running for president in 1968, and whose uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in 1963.  Based in Massachusetts, the group is involved in raising public awareness of handgun violence and policy.

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence: This organization was named for the late Jim Brady (1940-2014), press secretary for President Ronald Reagan. In 1981, John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate Reagan and in the process shot Brady and two law enforcement officers. Left paralyzed, Brady, along with his wife, began lobbying lawmakers for gun reform. The Brady Center’s Legal Action Project has taken on the corporate gun lobby in courts.

Sandy Hook Promise: The group is a national nonprofit organization founded and led by family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012. The group describes its approach as building “a national movement of parents, schools and community organizations engaged and empowered to deliver gun violence prevention programs and mobilize for the passage of sensible state and national policy.”


      Will student marches impact gun policy?

      Pulse: Americans want gun control measures

      Sandy Hook case: History of a war weapon

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