Evolving capacities of children: teenagers lead anti-gun law protests in America

Just four days following the tragic events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, which claimed the lives of 17 children, a group of student survivors banded together to start the social movement called Never Again to address gun violence in America. Never Again was created by, inspired by, and led by students. Their message was simple: We will no longer sit and wait for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass shootings. We may be children, but we are not fighting for just children. All lives are precious, and our country must make the safety of its citizens a number one priority. 

Within five weeks, this small group of teenage students had transformed into a national social movement. A nationwide protest was held in Washington D.C on 24 March 2018, drawing more than 200,000 marchers, celebrity supporters, corporate sponsors and national media attention. Sister marches were held on the same day across 62 cities in America, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh. An estimated 800 March for Our Lives events and protests took place  during the weekend of 24-25 March 2018 with an attendance of over 1 million people.

Support for the student-led movement was palpablecelebrities performed at the student-led protests; high-profile celebrities donated funds; parents supported their children speaking out at the rallies; media outlets invited students to act as guest-editors (e.g. the Guardian) to report on the events; and Senators and Congress Representatives, including former President Obama, publicly endorsed the cause and message of the student activists. 

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