As many as 500,000 students and activists are expected to descend on Washington, D.C., and other cities Saturday in the “March For Our Lives” rally, with the aim of stronger gun-safety measures after the Feb. 14 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The rally was created by five high school students who launched the March for Our Lives website.
While the nation’s capital is expected to gain much of the attention as the “main demonstration,” there are also rallies in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Demi Lovato and Common are some of the musicians expected to perform in Washington.
The rallies come after the March 14 National School Walkouts and after students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mobilized with the #NeverAgain movement. On Friday, high school shooting survivor David Hogg met with Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, and other lawmakers to discuss a plan to curb gun violence.
Thousands of people near Parkland, Florida, on Saturday held signs that read “Am I Next?” “A Call To Arms For the Safety of Our Sons and Daughters” and “Congress = Killers,” according to Reuters.
In New York, Sir Paul McCartney was seen at the march wearing a t-shirt that read “We Can End Gun Violence.” Some signs at the New York rally read “This Teacher Refuses to be Drafted by the NRA” and “Change Gun Laws or Change Congress.”
Americans appear to be shifting opinions on gun safety. A recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll showed that 69 percent of Americans think gun laws should be tightened.
A Pew Research study in June 2017 reported that 48 percent of Americans “say they grew up in a household with guns.”
President Donald Trump on Friday signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill, which included some modest gun-safety measures. Trump said he would ban bump stock devices that “turn legal weapons into illegal machines.”