Photo courtesy of The Chaparral.
School shootings are too common in the United States. With the advancement of technology comes the advancement of weapons, and many are divided on whether or not this is a good thing for the general public.
With the mass shooting that occurred on Feb. 14, 2018, at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, came the widespread cry for stricter gun control. On March 24, 2018, thousands came together from all over the U.S. to march for the lives of their children and their future children, calling on President Trump and the GOP to crack down on the current gun laws that are in place. To some degree, the government has responded to the voices of the public, with banning bump stocks and raising the age requirement to purchase a gun to 21, but for many, this isn’t enough to satisfy the need for more gun control.
There were many rallies held in the Palm Springs area, the largest gathering was at Palm Springs High School, where thousands in the community turned out to march. The March For Our Lives event was scheduled at 4 p.m. at the Francis Stevens Park in downtown Palm Springs, hosted by Ellen O’Rourke. In an email interview, Ellen explained that the purpose of this march, “The Parkland students believe that the first thing they (GOP) needs to do is get more people registered to vote.” She goes on to explain the Parklands students push for registering is because they believe the key to sane gun laws is through legislation. The students have gone as far as to set up a texting program which allows voter/students to stay in constant contact with their movement. When addressing exactly what the students wanted to be done in the legislature the answer was quite clear:
- Digitizing the background check database
- Enhanced universal background checks
- The complete ban of assault rifles like the AK-15, and an assault weapon buyback program
- Getting rid of the Dickie Amendment which prohibits the CDC from studying gun violence.
Students speakers from all over the valley turned out to share their experiences since the Parkland shooting, speaking to the crowd that turned out for the March about how they were also affected even though they were nowhere near the shooting itself.
Democratic candidate for the 2018 California Senate, Joy Silver, spoke to the crowd about her stance on gun control, “Enough is Enough,” she said. When speaking with the organizers and students of this event, they had one goal: registering. “The students in Florida have already had some amazing results moving state politicians on gun legislation in one of the most pro-gun states in the Union.” She said, “Many gun laws are regulated at the state and local level and the Parkland students are organizing a nationwide movement to empower people across all 50 states to effect sane gun laws in their individual states, counties and cities.” Getting communities involved in their state and local governments was the biggest push of the evening for the March For Our Lives event.
Many people are affected by this incident including 16-year-old Adrianna Diehl, from Santana High School in San Diego County. Her school was involved in a mass shooting back in 2001. Diehl disagrees with the idea of arming teachers, “I think gun prices should be raised and students, including myself, would feel unsafe with teachers possessing guns in the classroom environment.” She goes on to reaffirm what the March For Our Lives movement is all about, the schools should be safe and free of firearms.
There were more older generations at this event than younger generations. The parents and grandparents of students turned out in numbers estimated in the hundreds to support their children’s future.