San Diego Participates in “March for our Lives” Protest
“Enough is enough” – a phrase that echoed worldwide this past Saturday in over 800 organized marches. An estimated 5,000 – 10,000 San Diegans gathered in Escondido, Encinitas, and Waterfront Park this past Saturday to participate in the “March for our Lives” protest. The movement is a response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 individuals. Students and parents gathered in an effort to push for stricter gun laws. Citizens are calling for these major changes: universal background checks on all gun sales, raising the federal age of gun ownership and possession to the age of 21, closing of the gun show loophole, a restoration of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, and a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines in the United States.
One of the largest documented crowds in history gathered in Washington D.C., while students from around the nation delivered speeches about the issue. Now more than ever, students are fearful of their safety on school grounds, and feel the government needs to do more to protect our youth from gun violence. The main concern is the weapon – the AR-15, a common weapon used in mass shootings. In certain states including Florida, the legal age requirement for purchasing an AR-15 is 18 years, while the minimum age to purchase a handgun is 21.
The protest aims to bring awareness to gun violence and recognizing it as a national problem Parkland survivor Jaclyn Corin states, “We recognize that Parkland received more attention because of its affluence, […] But we share this stage today and forever with those communities who have always stared down the barrel of a gun.”, NBC reports.
Trevon Bosely, 19, talked about the gun violence in Chicago that killed his brother Terrell Bosely on the way to church in April 2006. He said that these gun deaths are tied to the White House and American political leadership. “When you have a president that would rather constantly talk about and belittle Chicago’s violence rather than send funds and resources, you have gun violence,” Bosley said. “It’s time for the nation to realize gun violence is more than just a Chicago problem or Parkland problem but an America problem,” he added.
March for our lives attracted the attention of citizens nationwide including celebrities who took to social media to document their support of the protest. NBC reports an estimated 800,000 attendees gathered at the march in Washington D.C., while the 2017 Women’s March attracted around 500,000, according to the NY Times.
Emily Landers reported to the San Diego Union Tribune: “I want reasonable legislation,” she said. “As angry as I can get over this issue, I really want there to be change.” She was one of the many who gathered on North Harbor Drive, and looping north on Pacific Highway.