March for Our Lives: Huge pro gun-control rallies sweep USA
With over 800 protests taking place across the US and the world, thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday calling for tighter gun control laws in the US. The 'March for Our Lives' movement, which culminated in the aforementioned rallies, began after 17 people were killed in the Florida school shooting on February 14. Here's all about it.
The 14th February massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was the worst school shooting in the US since Sandy Hook in 2012 which claimed 26 lives. Additionally, the US saw 17 school shootings in 2018 before Florida, and four afterwards.
Huge crowds - including large numbers of youngsters, children, and shooting survivors - gathered outside the US Capitol building in Washington DC chanting "no more NRA", "no more guns" to pressurize the Trump administration into enacting stricter gun-control laws. Celebrities like Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus performed on stage in between impassioned speeches by youth leaders, including school children, calling for gun-control and student safety.
According to a new poll conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research, around 69% of Americans think that laws surrounding the right to bear arms, which is protected by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, should be tightened.
While protests in the East Coast of the US drew to a close, they continued in the West Coast with a major protest taking place in Los Angeles. Additionally, people in numerous cities spanning across the world - from the UK, across the Atlantic to India, Japan, Australia, Ghana, Vietnam, Israel, among others - showed solidarity towards the 'March for Our Lives' protests.
Meanwhile, with mid-term Congressional elections just eight months away, voter registration activists flocked to many of these 800 marches to enroll young voters likely to back candidates who favor stricter gun laws. Thousands of first-time voters, who vowed to vote out legislators opposing gun control, signed up. With four million Americans turning 18 this year, voting against anti-gun-control candidates could make a difference.