Students walk out of Central Florida schools to protest gun laws

Also on hand to support the students: members of the Broward County teachers union.

Tarr was referring to the National Rifle Association, widely regarded as the most influential lobbying group in Washington.

"The one thing that we should be able to expect and the last thing that should come to mind is safety because we deserve to feel safe in a place where we're trying to further ourselves and better ourselves as people", he said.

"We're what's making the change".

"If that's how they want to represent us - the people who just went through a school shooting and survived a school shooting, I don't - that's unacceptable", said Stoneman Douglas student Spencer Blum. She said they are here to encourage action on behalf of gun control measures, not to be comforted and "pushed into another room as [lawmakers] dance around our questions". "Yes, you know the 17 who lost their lives, they lost their voices".

Multiple bills involving access to guns, such as allowing certain school teachers to carry firearms on campus or allowing people to hide carry in churches, have been filed during this legislative session.

"We've definitely seen an increase in sales since that disgusting event that happened", he said.

Arkia Gordon, a junior from Leon High School in Tallahassee, said students support more training and security, but restrictions are needed on semiautomatic rifles such as the type used by a 19-year-old in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting.

Instead, he said they were all advocating "small steps" to change the state of gun safety.

Maybe they think they haven't gotten enough attention in their lives and at school, and they think that killing children is the way to get that attention they are craving so much.

Not everyone fully sided with the speakers.

"If this legislature doesn't act - as I said in my commercial - we will".

"We want our students to be aware of what's happening in the world. 'We are students, we are victims, we are change'".

Students from Stoneman Douglas have a busy schedule of meetings Wednesday, including audiences with Governor Rick Scott, state attorney general Pam Bondi, and leaders of both the state House and Senate. "We are old enough to understand why someone would want to discredit us for their own political purposes", Alphonso said at a news conference.

  • Leroy Wright