Marching for Their Lives: Students To Demand Gun Reform in DC

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TRNN will report from the March For Our Lives and bring you voices of young people from cities like Baltimore who say gun violence has plagued their communities long before Parkland

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Story Transcript

STUDENTS: Enough is enough! Enough is enough!

JAISAL NOOR: Marching for their lives, on Saturday, March 24, the Real News will bring you the voices of the thousands taking to the streets of Washington demanding action to stop gun violence. It’s being led by the survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. They say they want gun control, and are calling out politicians and the NRA for opposing it.

DAVID HOGG: It’s as simple as this. Either you stand with the kids or you stand with the NRA. And we’re asking people to put the USA over the NRA.

JAISAL NOOR: We’ll also bring you the voices of students who are traveling from cities like Baltimore, who stand in solidarity with the victims of Parkland, and say that gun violence isn’t an isolated incident.

DESTINI PHILPOT: I’m here because people ignore the face that our community has been affected by gun violence for forever. Ever since I was a child, gun violence has been a part of my community. They need to wake up and see that it did not start in Parkland. Though I stand here in all black, dressed in solidarity with Parkland, I’m here for my community. My community that’s been affected by gun violence. They need to realize it did not start there. They need to recognize the gun violence that happens right here, and the people that we have lost. I just want to know where the support was when we needed it, when black lives needed it. Before they wanted to address gun violence because white kids were dying, before it started to affect them, when white people came to you because it was starting to affect them, before they were scared, and when we were scared every day of our lives. Where was the help? Where was trying to get private funding for the things that we needed? Where was justice for my people?

JAISAL NOOR: Just days before the March For Our Lives, a school shooting victim was taken off life support after being shot by a fellow student at Maryland’s Great Mills High. Pat Elder, who teaches GED classes there, sent his prayers to the victims, and says the Never Again movement must also address the militarization of schools.

PAT ELDER: I’ve been working for 20 years to try to get people to understand that we have a violent culture, and that any time you put guns into the hands of children, whether those guns are play guns, guns that are used in video games. The United States Army recruits, and their greatest technique in recruiting, is America’s Army video game. And so they have millions of children that are able to do a free download, and it’s a first person shooter game, and they get to shoot up people, and the army pays for it. And so the army doesn’t really care whether the children’s fingers are fixed on virtual or real guns. They just want to wrap as many young fingers around as many guns as possible.

JAISAL NOOR: The United States stands alone as the only wealthy country with high frequencies of mass shootings. We’ll continue to bring you voices like Rebecca Peters, who led the campaign that succeeded in comprehensively reforming Australia’s gun laws through measures like banning military-style weapons, requiring stringent background checks, and creating a gun owners database in the 1990s.

REBECCA PETERS: And the result of all of those things has been that gun violence in Australia has dramatically reduced. And it’s not only that the violence has reduced, but the work involved in policing that violence has reduced. And as you’ve said, we’ve never had another mass shooting. But we still have hunting, we still have macho men in Australia. We still have, you know, we still do well in the shooting sports and all that kind of thing. But our country is much, much safer.

JAISAL NOOR: Stay tuned for all of our coverage on therealnews.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter. In Baltimore, this is Jaisal Noor.