Students Head to Florida Capital to Press for Gun Law Change

Survivors of the Florida school shooting are taking their fight for gun law change to the state’s capital.

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, 100 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students are boarding a bus and traveling 400 miles to Tallahassee, the state’s capital, to urge lawmakers to take actions to prevent another massacre like the one that took the lives of 17 students and adults at their school. Once there, the students are planning to hold a rally on Wednesday to put pressure on the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature to consider a sweeping range of gun-control laws, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

As has been widely reported, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the fatal shooting at his former high school, where he used a legally purchased AR-15 to gun down those in the building. The shooting took place on Wednesday, Feb. 14, and very quickly caught the attention of the entire world.

Since the attack, students at the high school have become increasingly vocal in their demands for stricter gun control laws.

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At an anti-gun rally held just days after the shooting, student Emma Gonzalez, who has become one of the leading forces in the fight, gave a long and impassioned speech criticizing the circular conversation around the issues of gun laws and mental health. She refuted any version of events that allowed for sympathy or humanization of Nikolas Cruz, the student who confessed to committing the murders.

Students across the country have also planned multiple nationwide organized walkouts. The first is scheduled for March 14, one full month since the Parkland Shooting, and is being organized by the Women's March organizers. The plan is for students and teachers to stand up and walk out of their schools at 10 a.m. during that school day and remain outside for 17 minutes, one minute for each person that was killed by Cruz on Wednesday. A second walkout is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the school shooting at Columbine.