March for Our Lives draws thousands

Students+from+the+high+school+junior+Nallely+Lopez+and+senior+Claudia+Zagal+voice+their+want+for+stronger+gun+control+laws+at+the+March+for+Our+Lives+Rally.

Ashlynn Smith

Students from the high school junior Nallely Lopez and senior Claudia Zagal voice their want for stronger gun control laws at the March for Our Lives Rally.

Beau Brittain, Staff Reporter

“Never again!” and “Protect Our Lives!” are just a couple of the many chants heard from the crowd during Houston’s March for Our Lives. In the large crowd, sophomore Maya Loera, junior Heike Davis and senior Ashlynn Smith, just three out of the thousands of marchers that marched through the streets of Downtown Houston on Saturday, March 24, 2018.

The purpose of the march was to demand that lawmakers change the nation’s gun laws. The march in Houston was one of many that took place across the country in cities like, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.

The marches were organized by the students turned activists that survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February, that left 17 students and staff members dead

“I was marching for my life and the lives of people around the world to end gun violence,” Loera said.

Nearly 15,000 protestors, including Loera, Davis, and Smith, took part in the event at Houston’s Tranquility Park and the office of Texas Senator Ted Cruz. The Mayor of Houston spoke at the march announcing a Commission to End Gun Violence.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hoped that the activism shown after the shooting would inspire others to join their cause and result in stricter gun laws.

“When I saw the students from Parkland getting involved and taking action it really inspired me to speak up about important topics and to take more issues seriously. I’ve noticed that more people are more understanding about situations like these,” Loera said.

The activism shown in the aftermath of the shooting marked a turning point for a generation that many believe to not care about issues. It has also gotten more students to become involved and informed about issues in our country.

“I’ve previously discussed this topic with friends, family, and classmates, but have never spoken publicly about it – let alone participate in putting together the largest student led event ever… All of the student organizers are just a group of kids who want to have our voices heard when it comes to gun regulation,” Smith said.

Smith took part as a student leader in the march. She, along with students from other high schools in the Houston area, helped organize the event. As an organizer, she had to help make the location a safe area for anti-gun protesters and pro-gun counter protesters to have a civil conversation about the country’s solution to gun violence.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for students, teachers, and community members, to come together and speak with one another,” Smith said.