Teens across the country have been taking action to urge lawmakers to change America’s gun laws. Students from Stoneman Douglas and other schools recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and President Donald Trump. They discussed different ways that lawmakers could change gun laws to make them safer.
The students have already seen some success. On March 9, lawmakers in Florida passed a new law that raises the minimum age to buy guns in the state from 18 to 21. The nation’s biggest gun seller, Walmart, and major retail store, Dick’s Sporting Goods, have also announced that they will stop selling guns to people younger than 21. Dick’s will also stop selling military-style guns like the one used in the Parkland shooting (Walmart stopped selling these types of guns in 2015).
But the students have showed no signs of slowing down their protests. The National School Walkout is just one demonstration set to take place this month. Hundreds of thousands of students and other gun control supporters are also expected to participate in the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., March 24.
While thousands of students walked out of school on Wednesday, not everyone supported their decision to protest. Administrators at some schools didn’t allow students to participate. Others, concerned for kids’ safety, held in-school assemblies and demonstrations at the time of the walkout.
Seventh-grader Bella Graham walked out of class at her middle school in Takoma Park, Maryland, on Wednesday. She says it’s important that students’ voices be heard, especially when it comes to gun violence.
“I should be in school, but we have to stick up for ourselves and say enough is enough of this violence," she told USA Today.