But, the protesters were keen to reiterate, there is still much to be done before students feel safe in the nation where school shootings and other gun massacres are a regular occurrence.
Hollywood backed the calls of school shooting survivors for tighter gun control laws as hundreds of thousands across the U.S. protested in the student-led March For Our Lives.
Washington is preparing for a massive rally in support of gun control, one that organizers hope will prove that the country has reached an emotional tipping point on gun violence, with teenagers seizing the initiative and leading the demand for change.
“Either represent the people or get out”.
In Boston, march organizers asked participants older than 21 to take their places behind students spearheading the struggle.
Another Parkland survivor, David Hogg, said it was a new day. “Their generations have had chances, and they haven’t, so we’re going to make a difference”. “Because this – this – is not cutting it”, he said, pointing at the white-domed Capitol. “We are going to make this a voting issue”.
Rallies in Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego drew thousands of demonstrators on Saturday.
The event began on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol.
Parkland itself was home to a rally as more than 20,000 people filled a park near the Florida school, chanting slogans such as “Enough is enough” and carrying signs that read “Why do your guns matter more than our lives?” and “Our ballots will stop bullets”.
“Guns don’t kill people”. She said it’s hard to talk about the “terror, confusion and panic”.
There remains in America a very powerful gun lobby that is resistant to persuasion and certainly resistant to change. She lived through a scare a year ago when there was a report of a man armed with a gun in her school building.
But even with claims of historic social momentum on the issue of gun control, the AP poll also found that almost half of Americans do not expect elected officials to take action.
On the other side of the debate, gun rights advocates cite constitutional guarantees of the right to bear arms. “We’re not for taking away guns; we’re for common sense”, he said. Jared Foy, a Medford resident and parent to two children, brought signs of his own to the march, along with a semi-automatic gun strapped to his chest.
Overall, 90% of Democrats, 50% of Republicans and 54% of gun owners now favour stricter gun control laws.
“They’ve gotten used to being protective of their position, the safety of inaction”, he said, before issuing a warning to candidates supported by the National Rifle Association. “No one deserves to struggle like I am struggling, she is struggling, like my friends, family, the whole community is struggling”, said Rozenberg. “Period”, King said to applause as she held hands with Parkland survivor Jaclyn Corin.
“We allow a system that prioritizes the rights of an inanimate object over the rights of our citizens, and our children’s right to learn”, said Blake Beck, a senior at Crater High School, in his speech to the crowd at the stadium. “Ho, ho! The NRA has got to go!” In addition to pushing for tighter gun laws, the students have been working to register young people to vote. “I’d say there’s a lot of misinformation and I came to talk to people”. Keep at it. You’re leading us forward.