March For Our Lives
The protest on 24 th March 2018 was named “March For Our Lives” and was largely supported by celebrities and political figures like Barack; Michelle Obama, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Amal and George Clooney. The protest was led by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, where shooting took place a month ago leaving 17 students dead.
The year 2018 itself has seen as many as 12 firearm related incidences across US where about 25 students, staff members, teachers and parents were shot dead and around 50 more injured and wounded. This has alarmingly raised a voice of concern amongst the students and the parents who demand stringent laws on the purchase and sell of guns in the country. 2 nd Amendment to the Constitution & Gun purchase process While there are demands and protests on strict gun laws, it is important to know why there are approximately 300 million guns in USA, nearly one for every member of its population. The answer to that lies in the 2 nd Amendment of the US constitution, which gives the citizens the right to bear fire arms in order to defend themselves. Many citizens use the 2 nd Amendment to explain the usage and purchase of the weapons. This individual arming of citizen carries institutional weight, as National Rifle Association (NRA), one of the most powerful special interest lobby groups in US, campaigns against all forms of gun control and argues that more guns make country safer. In terms of lobbying, the NRA officially spends around $3 mn per year to influence gun policy. Apart from that, the gun purchase process in US is pretty lenient and the citizen can obtain the weapon within hours of application, as against the weeks and months of procedure in countries like UK, Japan and Australia.
Hundreds of thousands of students marched on the streets of Washington DC, protesting against shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, where year old youth opened fire killing 17 students. The message of through the protest was clear and simple, ending the gun violence through stricter gun control and regulations.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students have been quick to demand action following the shooting — visiting the Florida state capital and meeting with lawmakers, while planning the march in Washington, D.C. from their parents’ living rooms. The March for Our Lives has since expanded to include other major cities across the U.S. From New York City to Los Angeles. A silver lining to the students’ action is already received as the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas have already seen results from their actions. The Florida State Legislature passed an expansive gun control measure that includes banning bump stocks, raising the age to purchase a firearm across the board from 18 to 21 institutes a three-day waiting period on gun purchases, and providing more funding to school safety and mental health resources.
Meanwhile, President Trump has criticized and condemned the attacks, he has largely been silent on the gun control. Trump has tweeted in favor of bipartisan legislation which strengthens the background checks.“While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system.” White House spokesperson said in the press conference.