The March for Our Lives on D.C.
May 15, 2018
More than 800,000 people, clad in winter gear, braved a bitter wind on Saturday, March 24th in Washington D.C. They were gathered to march on Capitol Hill, down Pennsylvania Avenue, and protest the lack of action on gun reform and gun violence. The march was sparked by the tragedy in Parkland, and shootings across the country. Thousands of people waved signs in support for the march, some. Others named victims, others showed the numbers of victims and most pointed the blame towards the NRA, the National Rifle Association. Many had been directly affected by gun violence, many were victims who were shot. Hunters from Virginia created a square in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue, holding signs showing their support for strengthen background checks, and better regulation of the industry. Many signs called for the full ban of bump stocks, as well as semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15.
Since 1966, there’s been over 292 public mass shootings in the United States. The March on Washington D.C on March 24th was also unprecedented due to its sheer size. The official estimate is still around 800,000, making it the largest protest in D.C history. Even topping the Women’s March, where over 500,000 people attended, according to the Washington Post. There were no police reports on numbers.
Another March happened on Sunday as well, however it was noticeably smaller than Saturday, with only 200,000 people. They came to watch speeches made by victims of mass shootings, gun violence victims turn activists, performers like Miley Cyrus and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Parkland victims, the teenagers who helped spark the movement which has been brewing for a long time. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt performed a rendition of “Found/Tonight,” a mix from their ballads on Hamilton. Other performers performed similar renditions of their songs, often giving emotional speeches afterwards. Many activists told their stories of how gun violence affected their community, some from Chicago spoke about losing love ones, and how they were afraid to walk on the streets of a major American city.
Major players like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez had some of the most fueled speeches, Gonzalez even stood silent for six minutes and twenty seconds, the time it took for seventeen Parkland students to lose their lives.
And many more called for serious action. “I have been waiting so long for something like this to happen. This is just incredible. These children have achieved more in a month than us adults have done in years. It’s time for change. It’s beyond time.” Joanna Gates, a 35-year-old art teacher that survived the Columbine High School shooting 19 years ago in Colorado.