World'Arms are for hugging': US students march to end gun violence

00:55  15 march  2019
00:55  15 march  2019 Source:   aljazeera.com

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Students march from White House to Capitol Hill calling on politicians to pass bills to end gun violence in the US . Hidalgo, who plans to go to Florida when she finishes her schooling, has been actively involved in protests against gun violence after the 2018 Parkland shooting in Florida left 17

Parkland students guest-edit Guardian US . March for Our Lives. Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in Washington to call for tighter gun laws following the massacre at a high school in Victims of gun violence and supporters march in huge numbers to urge reform of America’s gun laws.

'Arms are for hugging': US students march to end gun violence© [Ola Salem/Al Jazeera] Students march from the White House to Capital Hill to protest the lack of gun control laws. [Ola Salem/Al Jazeera]

Hundreds of students have staged a school walkout and marched from the White House to Capitol Hill to demand stricter gun control laws.

'Arms are for hugging': US students march to end gun violence
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On Thursday, politicians who strongly support gun-control reforms joined the students who descended to the capital from over a dozen high schools in the DMV area, which includes Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland.

"Show me what democracy looks like," 16-year-old Sofia Hidalgo from Albert Einstein High School in Maryland chanted as she marched past Trump International Hotel on her way to Capitol Hill while others booed at the hotel.

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Students across US walk out of class in gun violence protest – video. The students called for new gun safety legislation and opposed plans to arm schoolteachers. The youthful protesters seemed to be the latest indicator that a carapace of resistance to gun policy changes in the United States could

Gun violence is a contemporary global human rights issue. Gun -related violence threatens our The small arms trade is worth an estimated US .5 billion per year. Why is gun violence a human rights Firearm violence can disrupt the functioning of schools and make students ’ journeys to and from

"This is what democracy looks like," protesters shouted.

Hidalgo, who plans to go to Florida when she finishes her schooling, has been actively involved in protests against gun violence after the 2018 Parkland shooting in Florida left 17 people dead.

While mass shootings have plagued the US for years, the Parkland shooting marked a pivotal moment as students-turned-activists led a nationwide movement to end gun violence.

"We are privileged, we are here in the capital where the politicians we are trying to convince are as well. They are right next door," she said holding up a banner that read: "Arms are for hugging".

Since the Parkland shooting, her school - as many others across the US - have taken extra precautions to keep unauthorised people off their grounds, including installing extra hallway doors and key access for school building entry.

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Students from Centreville, Virginia wear targets on their chests as they arrive for the March for Our Lives rally in DC. Win McNamee/Getty. One family from Westchester, New York told Business Insider they traveled there to raise awareness about gun violence and to support the Parkland students .

End Gun Violence poster campaign. In the immediate aftermath of tragedies such as the shooting at a The power of the “ End Gun Violence ” campaign is in the collection of voices, supporting the With all the violence we see in society, especially by teens and young adults, we need to do a better

Schools have also held regular active shooter drills and lockdown where students are taught to hide in their classrooms and keep quiet.

"A school is a place we should learn and not hide under our desks," said 17-year-old Cammy.

"We've had enough, we are students and we shouldn't feel scared in schools. If [politicians] will not make the change, then we will."

Sage Spalter, an 18-year-old student at Bethesda Chevy High School in Maryland, said she walked out of class that morning to come to the capital to show her support.

She said she wanted to see the Senate pass the S.42 Background Check Expansion Act, which would help ensure background checks in all states for those who attempt to buy a gun.

Second school walkout

Thursday's march was the second school walkout following the Parkland school shooting.

Last year, the global March For Our Lives, held on March 24, saw millions of people protest across 800 cities.

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How should we try to reduce the number of gun deaths and injuries in the United States ? A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms My advice to the students ? When you finish marching on the mall, march into the specific

Some of the technologies we use are necessary for critical functions like security and site integrity, account authentication, security and privacy The idea is keep your sign sturdy but not make it so that it is too heavy to carry. Ideally you would want it to survive the march and be able to use it again.

Under the banner #NeverAgain, protesters called for a ban on assault weapons, a halt to the sale of high-capacity magazines, tightening of the background-check process, the limiting of firing power on the streets, the disarmament of domestic abusers and an end to gun trafficking. The same demands were made on Thursday.

Some progress has been made over the past year.

After pressure from activists, a number of companies, including First National Bank and Enterprise, ended their partnerships with the National Rifle Association (NRA).

On the political front, US President Donald Trump's administration moved to ban bump stocks, a device that allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire at the rate of a machine gun.

More than a dozen states are also set to review their gun-safety laws this year. While Hidalgo is happy her state has passed red flag laws and banned bump stocks, she wants to see gun control laws rolled out at the federal level "to feel safe in Florida as I would here".

Activists at the forefront of the gun battle echoed the protesters' calls.

Since Parkland, a website that has been documenting child victims of gun violence in the US, recorded 1,200 children killed by a gun over the past year - more than 80 of whom were under the age of three.

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The US president, holding a listening session at the White House with survivors of last week’s Florida school shooting and others affected by gun violence , claimed that allowing airline pilots to carry and conceal guns had This would only obviously be for people who are very adept at handling a gun .

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded 39,773 gun deaths in 2017 across the country, an increase of more than 1,000 from the year before.

More than 300 mass shootings - defined by the FBI as an incident in which four or more people are killed - were recorded in 2018, including in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Thousand Oaks, California, and Annapolis, Maryland, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

'Keep fighting'

"We see you," Democratic congressman Ted Deutch, who represents an area of Florida, including Parkland, told protesters from a podium outside of Capital Hill on Thursday.

"You should be in school, but you cannot be in school, you have to be here," he added. "It's not too much to expect to be safe in school every day."

He applauded the students for staging the walkout, adding their continued organisation helped ensure a democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

"Keep fighting, keep speaking, I am so proud, unbelievably proud to be your partner in this fight," he added.

After the Democrats took the House in November, they passed gun control bills last month - a first in many years. The two bills would toughen background checks for gun purchases.

Both bills, however, are expected to face opposition in the Republican-majority Senate and the White House. Some Republicans in the senate are closely allied to the NRA and gun-rights voters.

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