Last week, an expelled student returned to their former school — Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — and opened fire, killing 17 people and wounding many more.
In the wake of that shooting, national Republican leaders have yet again failed to move for any significant gun control measures, even though access to the firearm the Parkland shooter used has underpinned not just last week’s shooting but numerous others throughout recent years.
Students, however, have had enough. Numerous students at the Parkland school itself have been vocal in calling for common sense gun control in the wake of the shooting, and on Monday, students from the Washington, D.C., area decided to put their apparent day off for President’s Day to good use, staging a protest outside the White House in support of gun control.
The students, as video from CNN shows, went to the White House Monday to stage a “lie-in,” lying outside on the ground for three minutes at a time in representation of the amount of time that it took the Parkland shooter — who was later apprehended off the school’s campus — to carry out the attack.
Before lying down, the students reportedly read off a list of the victims of gun violence in American schools over about the past ten years, a time frame that includes such incidents as the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Check out video below.
Students from the Washington, DC, area stage a “lie-in” outside of the White House to protest inaction on preventing gun violence https://t.co/yu9umVNIgt
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 19, 2018
As CNN correspondent Ryan Nobles notes the students outside the White House pointed out, the endless stream of “thoughts and prayers” from Republican leaders has done nothing to actually stop the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.
As of early Monday afternoon, the Gun Violence Archive has tallied a total of 1,985 deaths from gun violence so far this year, in addition to 3,436 injuries. Those numbers include 385 Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 who have been killed or injured, and 74 Americans 11 and under who have been killed or injured.
Even still, the president continues to do nothing. As of early Monday, he’s at his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort, spending the long President’s Day weekend there.
In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, he has stuck to the line that the way to keep such incidents from happening again is through fixing the nation’s mental healthcare system and not through gun control.
Parkland student Rose Gonzalez pointed out an obvious reason for the president’s inaction — the fact that he’s accepted the benefit of tens of millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association.
She blasted the president and other politicians who have accepted large sums from the NRA in an address given last Saturday to a rally in support of gun control in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
She and her fellow students have kept up the calls for gun control in the wake of the Parkland shooting via, in part, a string of media appearances.
After significant pressure, the president is going to hold a “listening session” with students and teachers on Wednesday, although details about who exactly he’s going to be meeting with were not immediately provided by the White House.
In the aftermath of the shooting, he’s returned to his traditional pastime of angrily tweeting about the Russia scandal.
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