CORAL SPRINGS, Florida – With its message aimed directly at politicians, the national youth campaign against guns, called Never Again, stepped up the pressure on Tuesday with demonstrations in Florida.
About 100 students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the scene last Wednesday of the death of 17 people from the massive shooting by a former student, went Tuesday to the state capital of Tallahassee to demand that the Florida legislature pass laws to restrict the sale of firearms.
Meanwhile, a similar group from a high school in Boca Raton marched some 11 miles (17 km.) from that city to Parkland in order to join in the youth protests urging state and federal lawmakers and President Donald Trump to impose more controls on gun sales.
“I don’t want to think that every time I sit in a classroom, I could be the next victim,” said one of the students.
Looking ahead to the national march planned for March 24 in Washington, the students of the Never Again movement set off for Tallahassee in two buses from Coral Springs, near Parkland.
A third bus was scheduled to leave later.
“The day after the shooting I was sitting at home and I felt useless, that’s why I came here. This process is beginning to make a difference and it’s helping us a lot,” one of the girls on the bus, 19-year-old Chris Grady, told EFE.
The demonstrators plan to meet on Wednesday with state legislators to pressure them into passing some common-sense gun laws.
“How many shootings do we have to go through for them to change the laws?” cried Tyra Henas.
Also on the buses, besides some of the parents, were four survivors of the shooting that in June 2016 left 49 people dead at a discotheque in Orlando, Florida.
“We’ve come to hug these survivors and tell them that life goes on, and we’ll go to the capital to at last get the laws changed and stop the violence,” said one of them, India Goodman.
Protected by a federal law that permits the purchase of arms for those over age 18, the admitted perpetrator of the Parkland massacre bought an assault rifle with which he shot all those students on Valentine’s Day.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, suffered depression and autism and had also expressed a desire to buy a gun, according to a report in November 2016 by the Florida Department of Children and Families.