By Rebecca Colnes
A powerful gun control movement resulted in worldwide protests on March 24, according to The New York Times. The “March for Our Lives” demonstrations were organized in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14.
While hundreds of thousands of marchers walked streets in cities across the globe, the main protest was located in Washington D.C., where an estimated 180,000 people marched, according to The New York Times.
The gun used by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, the only charged suspect of the shooting, was obtained legally, according to USA Today.
The shooting rekindled the national debate on gun control and led to unprecedented legislation in Florida that placed new regulations on gun purchases, according to The New York Times.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas students gathered support for the demonstrations through social media. Emma González, a senior with 1.2 million Twitter followers who has become a gun control activist following the shooting, and Sarah Chadwick, a senior with 269,000 followers, used memes and quipped public replies to politicians to spread their message, according to The New York Times.
Small protests in opposition of the March for Our Lives movement emerged in cities including Salt Lake City and Boston, according to CNN.
These protesters wielded signs emphasizing the importance of the Second Amendment and self-defense, according to The New York Times. Signs displayed messages including, “AR-15s EMPOWER the people,” “Criminals love gun control” and “What can we do to stop mass shootings? SHOOT BACK.”
“We believe in the Second Amendment,” said Paul Allen, a counterprotester from Boston, according to The New York Times. “You people will interpret it the way you want and we’ll interpret it for what it is – that law-abiding citizens who are true patriots have the right to bear arms. They haven’t read the Constitution and don’t know what it means.”
In addition to the March 24 protests and the newly signed Florida gun limitations, high schoolers throughout the U.S. participated in a nationwide 17-minute school walkout on March 14, representative of the 17 students killed in the Parkland shooting, according to The New York Times.
Gun control activists are planning the next school walkout on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, according to CNN.