United States students stage walkouts in the thousands to protest gun violence

Gillian Jones  The Berkshire Eagle via AP FILE

Thousands of students across the country walked out of their schools Wednesday in remembrance of the 17 victims of last month's school shooting in Parkland, Fla. and to protest for stricter gun laws.

The United States sees more than 30,000 gun-related deaths annually and Stoneman Douglas students have spearheaded a national gun control campaign, helping to force through a new law on age limits for gun purchasers in Florida.

Students filed out of class for a 17-minute demonstration to honor those killed and injured in Parkland, Florida.

"This was probably toward the middle of the walkout". 34, Narragansett, South Kingstown) and Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist.

Such checks are now only performed on people buying firearms from licensed gun dealers. They carried signs with messages like "Never again" and "Am I next?" If someone is determined to acquire one of these types of guns, there are ways to do it. Both students were part of the five who spearheaded the walkout.

"There has been negative feedback, and that has been expected, but most people thought, 'Hey this is a good idea, ' because even if you don't agree with the issue on weapons or guns specifically, we all can agree that we need to spend 17 minutes to give respect to those that lost their lives", Keranen said.

On the third floor, officers said they found an AR-15 with a magazine still attached.

Other South Kingstown schools participated as well.

Organizers of the event explain that the march is "created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar".

Justin says he hopes the USA enacts stricter gun laws or places someone in schools to protect students.

Students outside Trump Tower in Manhattan chant "Hey, Hey, NRA, how many kids did you kill today".

"It was scary previous year when we thought we actually had a shooter on campus and we all had to go on lockdown and we didn't know for at least 20 minutes if there was an actual shooter. So to see them doing that is just an incredible thing for me", she said.

Students were happy with the level of turnout for a small school.

The Antioch High School principal planned Thursday's protest.

"We can make a change and we can make a difference no matter how young we are", Ogungbemi said.

"We were proud of how the students handled it", Newton said, noting all the school's students were born after the 1999 school shooting in Columbine, Colorado. "The president of the Student Council and the president of the senior class are going to talk, and then we're going to have a member of the Police Department talk".

"By praying for the victims, we could bring a great focus to the victims in this situation, and by unified prayer, we could have a powerful impact", Jabo said. "We should be able to rely on each other. if there's something wrong, we should be able to support each other and be there for each other".

Officials from the Lake-Lehman Junior-Senior High School did not respond to phone calls regarding its students' participation in the national protest.

Some schools threatened students they would have their activities canceled or would be kicked out of student groups if they participated in the national walkout.

High school students in Stockton, California were arrested during a gun safety demonstration. Students Kathryn Staebler of Jamestown, Olivia Legault of East Greenwich, Cat Brownell of Middletown, Sara McCormick of Wakefield and Bella Bianco of Warwick spearheaded the effort.

Blackman was not penalized by his school for taking part in the student activism ignited by the survivors of the shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February.

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