On March 24, 2018, hundreds of thousands of people traveled to Washington, DC to voice their demands for an end to gun violence in the United States. We spoke to dozens of demonstrators, gathering their stories. Hear from some of them below.
Rafael, 16, Maryland
I’m here because I want there to be stricter gun laws. I feel like I should not have to walk around my school and be worried that at any given moment somebody could take out a firearm and shoot me dead in the middle of the hallway. I feel like school should be a safe place where I could come to learn and be educated and I should come in there with no fear in my heart. I should be safe.
Julie, 29, Virginia
I think we’re really marching for two ideas that come from the same principle, which is that we’re too complacent about gun control; we’ve accepted the status quo and shooting after shooting nothing has happened and it’s really exciting to see this momentum. But at the same time, on the heels of the march planning, we had the death of Stephon Clark and I don’t think we can accept these things any longer. I think it’s important that these police brutalities against black people be treated with a lot more justice than we’ve seen in the recent past and especially this most recent very egregious murder needs to be brought to justice.
Heather, 43, Pennsylvania
Gianna, 6, Pennsylvania
Heather: We’re averaging one school shooting a week if we go through since Columbine. Since 2018, we’ve had 18 - now 19 - school shootings. Two will be mass shooters. The NRA needs to stop funding our politicians with this ridiculous ploy to get us to keep killing ourselves. It’s got to end and we’re here now to vote them all out. Gianna, do you have anything to say? What does your shirt say? Can you just read it for us?
Gianna: Just souls, no gun holes.
Lenny, 21, Maryland
Right now, they’re trying to make abortion illegal. Why are you trying to make abortion illegal if you’re gonna take my future children away with these gun laws in their own schools? So, that’s why I’m out here.
Samantha & Sydney, 22, New Jersey
Samantha: I’ve just gotten to the point—I have siblings in the school districts, I have friends at college campuses that have shooter threats, and it’s terrifying being on the other end of “oh my god, are they okay?” So, I’m here because I just think enough is enough. They need to make tougher gun laws. We need to stop having people have automatic weapons. There’s no need for them. It’s just—I’m sick of it.
Sydney: I’m here because I have younger siblings that go to school, and I want my children and my siblings to be able to go to school and not have the fear of not coming home that day.