Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

School shooting survivors lead gun violence protest in York

Girl Be Heard Performs at Gun Violence Prevention Concert to Support Saturday's March For Our Lives Utah students expecting thousands to turn out for march to end gun violence Saturday
Jerome Frank | 25 March, 2018, 01:00

A new American generation flexed its potential political might Saturday at a rally against gun violence that drew about 2,000 people, young and old, to Santa Rosa's Old Courthouse Square, as hundreds of thousands more participated in similar events across the country.

"To the leaders, skeptics and cynics who told us to sit down, stay silent and wait your turn, welcome to the revolution", Cameron Kasky, a Stoneman Douglas High student, said to a standing-room only crowd that packed at least 10 blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue.

A little over a month after a school shooting killed 17 people at the Parkland high school, hopeful locals gathered on Saturday to demand change.

More people joining as the march progresses through Downtown Cincinnati.

"To see their kids really put into action their free speech that is inspired by their faith, and that it's their church that is encouraging them to go out, that's what we're trying to highlight", he said.

Andy Rohrbaugh of Dillsburg said he marched as a "responsible gun owner" who wants it to be more hard for some people to buy guns.

"I am here to stand in solidarity with the students who have been courageous enough to speak and stand up for justice, safety, and reform".

When I was overseas, the care packages they sent - filled with homemade cookies, scribbled messages in crayon, and hand-drawn stick figures - got me through some of the toughest times of my deployment.

But in the U.S., Congress allowed a 1994 national assault weapons ban to sunset a decade later, citing a federal report that found its effectiveness inconclusive.

Organisers want the US Congress, many of whose members are up for re-election in November, to ban the sale of assault weapons like the one used in the Florida rampage and to tighten background checks for gun buyers. "It's under control. People hate us, but we have to do this".

Jack Graziano, a 16-year-old junior from Long Island's Massapequa High School, said that he wanted gun violence to end so his own children would not have to suffer it. "We have the power of change", the elementary school teacher said.

"I believe there's supposed to be like half a million people going and to just stand with that many people, it's an empowering feeling and it's hopefully very moving", Meek says. San Jose demonstrators plan to march down Santa Clara Street, while events in Oakland, San Francisco and Washington D.C. are rallies. If there's an opportunity for my voice to be heard, to do something, I'm going to take that.

On Friday, however, the U.S. justice department proposed rule changes that would effectively ban bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like a machinegun. Beyond major cities, they will include demonstrations in Las Vegas, where a gunman killed 58 people at a country music festival past year; in Parkland, home to Stoneman Douglas; and in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where the community is marking the 20th anniversary of a middle school shooting that left four students and a teacher dead.

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