On Wednesday, 17 people were killed in a mass shooting. Former student Nikolas Cruz was identified as the gunman and charged with murder. The president has blamed the massacre on mental illness, once more side-stepping discussions about gun control. Teen activists are now going directly to his house to talk about it.
Teens For Gun Reform organized a protest at the White House on President’s Day, asking for students in particular to arrive for a “lie-in” in front of the building. The New York Daily News reports the event’s leaders were juniors from Potomac School, Whitney Bowen and Eleanor Nuechterlein:
Tomorrow’s event centers around a lie-in, where protesters will lie down to symbolize the victims of school shootings; by doing this, we will make a statement on the atrocities which have been committed due to the lack of gun control, and send a powerful message to our government that they must take action now. The lie-in will last for only a few minutes, starting at 12:15, in order to symbolize how quickly someone, such as the Parkland shooter, is able to purchase a gun in America.
A teen named Robert O’Brien told the NYDN that he was there to support safety in schools, and encourage other young people to fight for what they believe in:
“In general, places like school, you’re meant to feel safe there,” he said.
“It doesn’t need to be a place like a war zone. You think you don’t have a voice, maybe you’re too young, but you can make a difference.”
A larger national protest is planned for next month called March for Our Lives, with a central event in D.C. The event is “created by, inspired by, and led by students” according to its mission statement. You can find out where to walk on March 24 here, and support our remarkable, brave teens.