Washington Readies for Student-Led Demonstration for Stricter Gun Control

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend a “March for Our Lives” demonstration in Washington Saturday, drawing attention to school violence in the U.S. and what they see as a need for stricter gun control.  Organizers are hoping to draw half a million people.

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed on February 14 in the latest mass U.S. school shooting, are the organizers of Saturday’s event.

They are demanding that children’s lives be prioritized in a country where mass school shooting have become an epidemic.

More than 800 sister marches have been planned in each of the 50 U.S. states and other countries.

Americans have been reluctant to give up their guns and there have been few changes in gun laws in response to mass shootings.

Americans have been reluctant to give up their guns and there have been few changes in gun laws in response to mass shootings. Among the questions facing march organizers and participants will be how to translate a one-day event, regardless of turnout, into meaningful legislative change.

​A new poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, however, indicates that sentiment may be changing.  The poll found that 69 percent of Americans surveyed now think gun laws should be tightened, up from 61 percent in October, 2016, and 55 percent in October 2013.

Overall the survey indicated 90 percent of Democrats, 50 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of gun owners now favor stricter gun control laws.

But nearly half of Americans, the poll revealed, do not expect their politicians to take action towards changing gun laws.

Student activists, however, have begun concentrating on voter registration with mid-term congressional elections coming up in November.

The March for Our Lives website reports that it has almost reached its goal of raising $3.8 million.

Actor George Clooney and wife, Amal Clooney, a lawyer, gave March For Our Lives a $500,000 donation, which was matched by actress and TV host Oprah Winfrey, director Steven Spielberg and producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres and photo publishing service Shutterfly announced a joint donation of $50,000. Model Chrissy Teigen and husband John Legend, a musician, pledged $25,000.

The Clooneys, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, singers Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, and actors Jennifer Hudson, Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen have all expressed intentions of attending Saturday’s march in Washington.

 

— 24/03/2018

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