Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are organizing a nationwide march called “March for Our Lives” for gun control after the shooting at their school in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14.
The students will be marching on March 24 in response to the Trump administration’s support of guns, as well as his response to the shooting that resulted in 17 deaths.
Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old school shooter, may face the death penalty on the account of 17 premeditated first-degree murders.
His mental state is being assessed and will play a role in determining his sentencing. Documents from a social service case in 2016 will be released to the public as the court examines the teen’s case.
There is controversy over his mental state being the cause of the shooting and whether or not he was treated poorly by classmates.
One student who survived the school shooting, Emma Gonzalez, said there is more to the incident than mental illness and the shooting was not the survivors’ fault. In response to the shooting and a tweet from Trump about the FBI being too busy with Russia to respond, she gave a speech on Feb. 17.
“Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him…you didn’t know this kid. Ok, we did.” She said, “We know that they’re claiming that there are mental health issues and I am not a psychologist but we need to pay attention to the fact that this isn’t just a mental health issue. He wouldn’t have gotten that many students with a knife. How about we stop blaming the victims for something that was the shooter’s fault?”
Emma Gonzales, among many students in Florida, is advocating for gun control, explaining that older arguments that guns are as dangerous as knives and that gun control will not reduce gun violence is “BS.” “We call BS,” she told politicians and the NRA on Wednesday.
David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, expressed his dissatisfaction with Trump on NBC’s “Meet the Press” saying, “How dare you.”
“You’re the president,” he said, “You’re supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us.”
Although Trump has expressed his support, students have not received the support or involvement with gun control they are looking for.
However, from a president who received $31 million in funding from the NRA during his presidential campaign and aimed to give citizens freedom to carry guns as part of his presidential platform, changes to the Trump administration’s gun ideology may be difficult to come by.
Trump addressed his support in a speech, saying, “We are all joined together as one American family and your suffering is our burden also. No child, no teacher should every be in danger in an American school…Let us wipe away the tears and strive for a much better tomorrow.”
A “better tomorrow” is one that the Florida high school students would feel more confident in if gun laws were to change.
“March for Our Lives” will give students a way to voice their concern about gun laws and support they gun policies they want to see implemented in the future.