Parkland students 'treated like royalty' riding Pats plane to DC

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"I don't do as many outside activities any more", said Gaffney, a 17-year-old junior who liked to run and go to the gym regularly before losing a friend in the February 14 shooting, which claimed the lives of 17 students and educators in Parkland, Florida.

"It's very heartwarming to see that apathy is turning into activism", said 64-year-old Andrea Friedman, a relative of victim Nicholas Dworet, who would have turned 18 on Saturday. "We're in this together".

A group of students from Broughton, Enloe Magnet High School and other Wake County schools gathered this week to make signs to hold in Washington, D.C.

"You know, being from a small town like Girard, a lot of people kind of don't feel like something like this could happen to students here", she said. I remember finding many flaws in our system, including a lack of funding for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Other speakers also honored the activists who had come before, especially those who have long fought on behalf of communities where senseless shooting deaths are common and often ignored. School shootings, he said, are driven by "faulty communication and reporting of prior convictions", along with mental health issues. Lucy McBath, whose only son, Jordan, had been shot and killed while listening to music in his vehicle with his friends, said the varied circumstances under which lives are lost to gun violence―whether community shootings like Jordan's, or the school massacre that brought tragedy to Parkland―still does not distract from the universality of the suffering and the universal need for reform.

"With the current political climate - we're the ones who are going to stop it", Zuehls said. It also granted law enforcement greater power to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit and allocated increased funding for armed school resource officers. The students are the center of everything.

"These kids are super savvy, really good with social media at an age where you can be angry, passionate around issues", said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, the nation-wide grass-roots arm of Everytown.

While the walk was student-driven, the committee ensured administration and teachers were kept in the loop.

Later on in the segment, Kashuv said that numerous marchers "truly don't know what they are marching for", claiming he spoke to many individuals in the march and they told him they are marching to end school violence.

Over the past week, heated discussions have been heard across the country about students participating in walkouts March 13. Within days, they had launched a crusade against gun violence — one that will result in a nationwide series of protests Saturday. Whether it was to talk about gun laws or just to support the families of the victims, students came together over something that is affecting the whole world.

"There is nothing about our school or our town that would give you any clue that something like this would happen here", he said.

"This isn't just a few kids from a Parkland high school who started a national movement — they've been swept up in it", he said.

Riley Helberg, a 14-year-old freshman at Crescenta Valley High School, said the Los Angeles march could eclipse the Women's March there with more than 100,000 expected, along with a performance from singer Charlie Puth. They've managed to make associating with the NRA even more toxic, forcing companies to break ties with the organization in a boycott that even this week has spread to Wall Street. "The fact that he's now speaking at rallies and saying 'we need change now, ' that voice has blossomed into something that is a force to be reckoned with".

"I'm proud of these students for their passion to make changes our generation hasn't been able to do", said Runcie. "It has them thinking about school safety on one level and how to prevent this from happening again".

The students aren't the only ones benefiting from the energy they've injected into the gun control movement.

"We're setting an example", Zuehls said.

  • Salvatore Jensen