Students March for Tighter Gun Control Laws in Wake of Parkland Shooting

On Mar. 24, ASD students and Anchorage community members gathered on the Park Strip to show support for tighter gun control laws in America, conveying that they will no longer stand for gun violence.

In the wake of 17 students killed, and 15 more injured as a result of a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, students have been protesting gun violence within the U.S.

On March 14, exactly one month after the shooting in Parkland, students all across the country walked out of their schools to make it known that they demand action. In Anchorage, another walkout is currently being planned for Apr. 20—the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting—as all ASD students were on Spring Break on the 14th.

The March For Our Lives was planned by students, with some help from larger companies and organizations such as the Women’s March. In a powerful mission statement, the March For Our Lives website states, “School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing.  

“The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.  No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”

The main march occurred in Washington D.C., and it is estimated that over 200,000 people attended, according to CBS News.

According to ABC News, there were over 800 sibling marches in addition to the one that took place in Washington D.C.

In Anchorage, protestors met on the Park Strip and heard speeches from ASD students. The Dimond High Glee Club then performed “Imagine” by John Lennon, which the crowd began to sing along to.

One of the speakers at the march, Dimond Sophomore Kai Crawford, said, “The march was successful, over a thousand people showed up. Although snow covered the park strip, we marched around in unison and were able to share our voices.”

After the speakers had finished, attendees marched in a long line around the Park Strip, as they were not allowed to march in the roads. As the march went on, those passing by honked their car horns and waved in support for the movement.

Sophomore Chelsea Bruce said, “It felt really good to be at such an empowering event. After seeing all the support for this movement, I have hope for the future regarding gun control laws in this country.”

Many of those marching carried signs, some of the more popular ones being: “arms are for hugging,” “ enough is enough,” “#never again,” “fear has no place in schools,” “protect lives not guns” and so on.

Dimond Junior Abby Dodd, who attended the march, said, “I am proud to be part of the change to end gun violence. March For Our Lives was incredibly empowering, and gave me faith for the future of our generation to change the laws needed to prevent any more gun-related deaths in America.”

Though the march is now completed, it can bee seen through social media and statements made by those leading the movement that this is far from over. Students are determined to continue their efforts to push for tighter gun regulations in America and they are not going to step down until the necessary change is made.

Crawford said, “As far as the future goes, the march was just the beginning. I hope to see more of our generation getting involved because we can make changes and this issue is one that has impacted all of our childhoods. We have never known a time without mass shootings.

“I hope our march and the marches across the world on Saturday inspired more teens to be involved in issues that they are passionate about. The times are changing and we are the ones changing them. We are the future,” Crawford said.