On Saturday, March 24, students and gun safety advocates descended on Washington, D.C., and major cities across the country demanding stricter gun control measures.
The student-organized movement, dubbed March For Our Lives, is calling for elected officials to prohibit the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and to close loopholes in background check laws that allow for dangerous people to slip through the cracks into gun ownership.
Since 1999, the U.S. averages 10 school shootings per year, with five the lowest in 2002 and a high of 15 in 2014. Only three months into 2018 there have been 11 such shootings, making this year among the deadliest to-date.
In response to shootings in 2018, March For Our Lives has moved politicians out of the spotlight and allowed for those directly affected by lax gun laws to speak on the matter.
“I’m here because previous generations couldn’t do what we’re doing right now,” said Charlie Shebes, 16, from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “I want to see safer schools. I want to see changes in gun laws.”
These students have disrupted the powerful pro-gun sentiment, calling for companies who support the NRA to withdraw, and politicians who accept funding from the gun rights group to be replaced in the coming elections.
The march did not go unanswered. The NRA released a Facebook message voicing its position and calling on others
to join the organization:
Fallout from the protests began in earnest the just four days later, as Laura Ingraham tweeted about 17-year-old Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg’s college rejections.
David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA…totally predictable given acceptance rates.) https://t.co/wflA4hWHXY
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 28, 2018
However, Ingraham’s tweet backfired as several advertisers pulled their support for her television show after Hogg tweeted a list of the conservative commentator’s sponsors the public could boycott — including Office Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer and Expedia.
Ingraham had no other option than to embrace the Easter holiday as mean to apologize:
“On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland,” she stated.
Ingraham went on to comment how “poised,” David Hogg was in the aftermath of the shooting — perhaps alluding the child actor theory — and later announced she would be taking the week of April 2 off.
It’s not just corporations, however, distancing themselves from the NRA; polls show that the public opinion is evolving on an issue that has been debated for generations.
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 69 percent of Americans believe that gun laws in America should be tightened, a nine percent increase since 2016.
[AP] [Reuters] [TIME]