Demonstrators participate in a "lie-in" during a protest in favor of gun control reform in front of the White House. pic.twitter.com/Nm9D3UfLWT— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 19, 2018
President Donald Trump may have not been present at the time, as he was in Florida golfing, but students decided that this was the moment they should stand up and fight.
So on Monday, dozens of students lay on their backs at the gates of the White House while others stood, holding signs and flags.
“Is Congress or the NRA making our laws,” one sign read. “Am I next,” another one said. “Money killed my friends,” a third one stated.
Eventually, the group all chanted, “Hey, hey NRA, how many kids did you kill today,” and “Congress is complicit! Congress is Complicit!”
WATCH: Teens hold "lie-in" protest for gun reform outside of the White House in the wake of Florida school shooting pic.twitter.com/npUwDwn5VD— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 19, 2018
In interviews with reporters, The New York Daily News explained, most of the students were visibly angry.
“We’re protesting against people who are shooting at schools and killing innocent kids with guns that should be illegal,” Leo, a 10-year-old boy, said.
“We’re tired of hearing thoughts and prayers from Congress,” Leo’s mother said. “We want action from Congress.”
“Why should we be allowed to live in fear, knowing that one day it could be any of us,” an emotional teen said while yelling at the White House.
As a man wearing a shirt that read “Patriot Pickett” walked about after the lie-in holding a sign that asked teachers to be armed, students urged the media to focus on their message instead.
“You need to focus on the young people and not this man," Robert O’Brien, 17, said. “Focus on the young children who are the ones who this actually impacts. This man is a distraction.”
Students are staging a “lie-in” protest in front of the White House to call for stronger gun control in the wake of the deadly Florida school shooting. pic.twitter.com/ja5dLPxU8x— AJ+ (@ajplus) February 19, 2018
Look to be around ~75 students participating in lie-in protest of gun violence at White House: pic.twitter.com/dl3gqxaYmn— David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) February 19, 2018
We need much more of this. Upside is our young adults will outlast the old, white males. The “lie-in” demonstration was led by students from the D.C. area. https://t.co/zf96p1ogqD— Charlie (@AVLWonk) February 19, 2018
Our children, American students - so challenged yet so brave. They had to be so traumatized, & so hurt that they HAD TO come for the #GOP, the #NRA , and hold them RESPONSIBLE! Who would have thought it would be our students calling B.S. & demanding change? I want to hug them.— Gamer Señora (@ezejensen) February 19, 2018
To some of the protesters present, the gun violence issue stems from a lack of political action, a 16-year-old from River Bend High School in Virginia explained.
“The shooting offended me because it just keeps happening, and Donald Trump and Congress aren’t doing anything about it,” she said.
O’Brien told reporters that the fact so many students were mobilizing shows that there’s hope.
“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.”
On March 24, O’Brien and other teens will have a chance to show they are serious about gun control.
After the horrific Parkland, Florida, shooting that killed 17 people, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students called for a national march on March 24. The goal is to call on lawmakers to take a definitive action to put an end to mass shootings.
Perhaps then, not only students but also parents, teachers, and anyone who believes in the cause will join and let their voices be heard.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters