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March For Our Lives

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Santa Ana March for our Lives on Saturday, March 24th

Santa Ana March for our Lives on Saturday, March 24th

Santa Ana March for our Lives on Saturday, March 24th

Samantha Pierotti, Journalist

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On Saturday, March 24th, students, parents, and friends from all around Orange County rallied in call of a gun reform. Since the Parkland Shooting on February 14th, students everywhere have felt restless sitting in school, feeling unsafe. The survivors of Parkland have made sure that their voices have been heard; they organized a nationwide walkout on the 14th in memory of their classmates that passed, and now are coordinating a march all around the country in protest of stricter gun laws.

Although Parkland students have become the face of the movement, local schools and students have stepped up to help organize marches in Orange County. According to Patch, students from Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Trabuco Canyon, Ladera Ranch, Newport Beach, Los Alamitos, Santa Ana, Anaheim and Yorba Linda are planning to participate in the event. Most students are asking for new, stricter laws on firearms, especially semi-automatic guns that are used in most shootings.

So far, in the 11 weeks of 2018, there have been 17 shootings to occur on a school campus that injured at least one person other than the shooter. On average that makes for 1 shooting a week, according to CNN. The United States has an infamous history of shootings in general, with the fist being on August 1, 1966, at the University of Texas. 1,077 people have been murdered since then, according to the Washington Post. 176 of them were children and teenagers. Thousands of survivors walk among us every day, wondering why it wasn’t them. These astounding numbers have almost had no impact on the gun laws in the United States, and now civilians all around the country are desperate for a change.

The movement has found many unlikely allies, including Lyft, who vowed to give free rides to marchers around the country. The company put a 1.5 million dollar cap on the amount of rides they would give, which helped many inner city marchers get to their needed location. Other companies supported the movement as well, mostly financially. Gucci was one of the first to donate to the campaign via a gofundme. The creative director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele, communicated that “[she] [is] truly moved by the courage of these students. [Her] love is with them and it will be next to them on March 24. [She] [will be] standing with March for Our Lives and the strong young women and men across the United States who are fighting for their generation and those to come.”

Marches took place all around Orange County. In Santa Ana, marchers gathered at 2:00 in the afternoon to listen to speeches from students, teachers, and survivors of the Seal Beach Salon shooting. After impactful speeches and conversation about gun control, civilians marched through Centennial Park in memory of victims of gun violence. Over 2,000 people marched in Santa Ana, and 800,000 worldwide.

Protesters hope that their voices will be heard, and that new laws will be passed for stricter gun laws in the United States. People everywhere are sick and tired of the violence, and desperate for change. “We appreciate your thoughts and prayers”, said Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, “but what our country needs is policy change.”

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