Broward County

Spurred by Douglas, other mass shootings, students plan national march

Josh Levine, 17, a student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, stands at the corner of Westview Drive and University Drive, protesting for tighter gun control two days after Wednesday’s killing of 17 students and staff at the school.
Josh Levine, 17, a student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, stands at the corner of Westview Drive and University Drive, protesting for tighter gun control two days after Wednesday’s killing of 17 students and staff at the school. adiaz@miamiherald.com

A student walkout and march are being planned for March as gun-control activists ramp up their efforts amid the political furor over the mass shooting that left 17 dead at a high school in Parkland.

The Women’s March Network has called for a national student walkout at 10 a.m., March 14. It is planned to last 17 minutes — one minute for every life lost in last week’s massacre.

That’s to be followed by the “March for Our Lives” on March 24 in Washington, D.C., an event organized by survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.

We’re marching because it’s not just schools,” Douglas student Alex Wind told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “It’s movie theaters, it’s concerts, it’s nightclubs. This kind of stuff can’t just happen. We are marching for our lives. We’re marching for the 17 lives we lost.

“And we’re marching for our children’s lives and our children’s children and their children. And we’re marching for everybody’s lives. And that’s the point we’re trying to get across. Never again will this kind of tragedy happen in this country or any country.”

Fellow Douglas High student Cameron Kasky, who started the #NeverAgain movement, talked about the march during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“My message for people in office is: You’re either with us or against us. We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around,” Kasky said in an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We don’t need you. On March 24, you are going to be seeing students in every single major city. We have our lives on the line here.”

“This isn’t about the GOP, this isn’t about the Democrats, this is about us creating a badge of shame for any politicians accepting money from the NRA and using us as collateral,” he said.

Sunday marked a busy day in the nation’s political world, four days after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz walked into the Broward high school armed with an AR-15 and extra ammo, opening fire on students and staffers before escaping. He was soon caught and confessed, police said.

The third-deadliest school shooting in the United States has again sparked familiar political hand-wringing over the nation’s gun laws, with activists calling for restrictions on the weaponry used in so many mass shootings, and the influence of the National Rifle Association.

Even some Republicans have joined the chorus, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who told CNN that he was in favor of restricting access to assault-style rifles. “Common sense gun laws make sense,” Kasich said Sunday.

Also on Sunday, Douglas students slammed President Donald Trump’s tweet blasting the FBI for failing to investigate Cruz.

Meanwhile, Douglas students and supporters also announced they would be traveling to Tallahassee this week to urge revised state gun and mental-health laws. Lawmakers are in the state’s capitol for the annual legislative session.

“A week ago, I was at a park volunteering with autistic kids. And now I’m just sitting in front of my school that just got shot up, talking to news stations that are going to be broadcast around the world,” student Jaclyn Corin told NBC. “And, absolutely, it still feels unreal. But unfortunately, we have to face reality and do something about it. We have to create national change. And what I’m actually doing right now is I’m starting to create a change at the state level.”

Mary Ellen Klas contributed to this report.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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