They came from across the country, signs, and message in hand.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters young and old, mostly young, took over the Nation’s Capital demanding an end to gun violence at the March for Our Lives.
The march stemmed from the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. That’s where gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 of his classmates.
Since then, some of those students, with the backing of several celebrities and politicians, have been on a crusade for gun reform.
Many of those same students took to the stage, emotional at times, crying and urging lawmakers to act.
Speakers affected by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary also spoke.
“Too many schools, too many churches, too many movie theaters, too many neighborhoods, too many homes,” said Matthew Soto, brother of a victim at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut.
But not all Stoneman Douglas students are on board with the anti-NRA message.
Student Kyle Kashuv watched the protests alongside Fox News. He says fellow students have misplaced their blame.
“I don’t see anyone looking at the FBI and saying ‘How come two reports weren’t followed through?’…How come we don’t hear speakers talking about this subject,” he said to Fox News.
“It’s so easy to bash the 2nd Amendment and bash guns. It’s hard to look at all the facts,” he went on to say.
On Friday, President Trump took to Twitter to announce the administration’s intent to ban bump stocks.
Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA. As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
A bump stock was used in the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, 58 were killed.
Marchers here say that isn’t enough.
“We need more,” Anna, 25, told CBN News.
“It’s useful to look outward to see how other countries are doing it…Other countries don’t suffer from as much gun violence as we do. We are the most of our people, there has to be some correlation there,” she said.
Other marchers say it has to be about compromise, too.
“I don’t think there is any one thing you can do. It starts with a conversation and then you tackle the underlying issues. I don’t think most people are saying take away our guns. We want it regulated,” Ni Gusti, 25, explained to CBN News.
“We want to feel safer in our communities, in our home. There’s a way to have both,” she said.
Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL, also weighed in on the protests and the need for compromise.
“While protests are a legitimate way of making a point, in our system of government, making a change requires finding common ground with those who hold opposing views,” Rubio said in a statement.
A Different View
But not everyone there put the blame on lawmakers.
A group of about 60 members of the Church of God joined the march to point out what they call the hypocrisy of it all.
Armed with signs featuring the faces of some of Hollywood’s most well-known producers and actors, they say if you want to find the root of violence, look no further than Tinsel town.
“Stephen Spielberg is one of them that helped to get the PG 13 rating, a lot of young people are watching a lot more violence than they used to,” member Cory Ertmer told CBN News.
“The same ones that are putting out these movies and putting out these things on violence are trying to say that they support this too,” Ertmer went on to say.
Don’t Boo; Vote
Scattered throughout the crowds volunteers eagerly registered first-time voters.
The message was same from the stage.
“Stand up, speak up, register to vote…Who can stop us? If we march today. Canvas tomorrow and vote 227 days from now?” urged Maryland student Matt Post.