Students protest lack of gun control at White House gates
As President Trump golfed in Florida, a group of teenagers staged a “lie-in” at the gates of the White House Monday to protest the government’s lack of action on gun control.
Dozens of students lay on their backs on the sidewalk outside the White House as others stood holding American flags and signs that read, “Am I next?”
Another sign read, “Is Congress or the NRA making our laws?”
Later, they turned to face the Trump White House and chanted, “Hey, hey NRA, how many kids did you kill today!” They also chanted, “We call bulls–t! We call bulls–t!”
“Why should we be allowed to live in fear, knowing that one day it could be any of us,” an irate teen screamed at the White House.
Anger rippled through the crowd. “No more dead kids!” was another chant. “Congress is complicit! Congress is Complicit!”
A 10-year-old boy named Leo said, “We’re protesting against people who are shooting at schools and killing innocent kids with guns that should be illegal.”
“We’re tired of hearing thoughts and prayers from Congress,” his mom said. “We want action from Congress.”
A 16-year-old girl from River Bend High School in Virginia said, “The shooting offended me because it just keeps happening, and Donald Trump and Congress aren’t doing anything about it.
After the “lie-in” an adult man wearing a shirt that read “Patriot Pickett” drew students ire by holding a sign that called for arming teachers and staff.
Robert O’Brien, 17, a student at the Potomac School in McLean, Va., told the media not to give him any attention.
“You need to focus on the young people and not this man,” he told reporters.
“Focus on the young children who are the ones who this actually impacts. This man is a distraction.”
“Don’t you feel horrible about yourself,” a young girl told him. “Just walk away.”
“In general, places like school, you’re meant to feel safe there,” he said.
“It doesn’t need to be a place like a war zone. You think you don’t have a voice, maybe you’re too young, but you can make a difference.”
The protest came as anger among students swelled over the latest school mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.
On Wednesday, Nikolas Cruz, 19, walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a AR-15 rifle and fired about 100 shots.
He killed 17 students and school staff and wounded 16 more, officials said.
Cops busted Cruz and prosecutors are currently weighing whether to seek the death penalty.
Monday’s protest was organized by Whitney Bowen and Eleanor Nuechterlein, juniors at the Potomac School.
They formed a group called Teens for Gun Reform and publicized the protest through a Facebook page under that name.
“Tomorrow’s event centers around a lie-in, where protesters will lie down to symbolize the victims of school shootings,” they wrote on Facebook.
“By doing this, we will make a statement on the atrocities which have been committed due to the lack of gun control, and send a powerful message to our government that they must take action now.
The lie-in was planned to last three minutes to symbolize how quickly people can buy guns in the U.S.
A larger protest, titled “March for Our Lives,” is planned for March 24 in Washington and other cities.
That effort is being organized in part by student survivors of the Parkland massacre.
“My message for the people in office is: you’re either with us or against us. We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around,” Cameron Kasky, a junior at the Parkland school told CNN Sunday.