The NRA and their supporters have thrown insults and threats of all kinds at the teenagers driving the movement for gun control. But the students are still standing up, and they're ready for more that 800 marches tomorrow.
After weeks of activism, planning, and preparation, the March for Our Lives is taking place on Saturday. More than 800 student-led marches for gun control are planned in defiance of the NRA and the GOP status quo.
The flagship march in Washington, D.C., alone is anticipating a turnout of 500,000, including 200 students, teachers, and chaperones from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and other schools in Broward County.
The marches aren't limited to the United States — people are marching in solidarity with the students' cause on six continents, including places as far-flung as Iceland, Ghana, and Micronesia.
Ahead of the big day, activists have released a stirring video, telling the gun lobby and the lawmakers enabling them, "We see you."
We see these lawmakers representing the NRA, and not their constituents. We see our “leaders” making excuses and refusing to act. On Saturday, they’ll see US. pic.twitter.com/7OGttnRSsz
— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) March 21, 2018
The march represents a showing of strength for the young activists, many of whom will be newly eligible to vote in the midterms this fall.
These young people have remain unbowed and unintimidated in the face of relentless insults, derision, and threats from defenders of the National Rifle Association's status quo.
Republican politicians have shamelessly gone after the kids directly. Florida lawmaker Elizabeth Porter contemptuously said on the floor of the statehouse that children should get to lobby adults because "we has the wisdom." And one statehouse candidate in Maine, Lesie Gibson, was forced to drop out after he called Parkland shooting survivors David Hogg and Emma González a "bald-faced liar" and a "skinhead lesbian."
Meanwhile, far-right conspiracy theorists allied with Trump, like Lucian Wintrich and Alex Jones, have promoted the idea that some of the students are "crisis actors" planted by the FBI — a repugnant attack that has been boosted by Russian social media bots. Hogg and his family have even been inundated with death threats over the issue.
But none of this has deterred these teenagers. Another Parkland survivor, Cameron Kasky, laughed off the right-wing conspiracy theories, saying, "If you had seen me in my school's production of Fiddler on the Roof, you'd know nobody would pay me to act for anything."
America is reaching a tipping point. The public is overwhelmingly on the students' side, with 7 in 10 Americans now wanting stricter gun laws.
Following the example of the students' courage and determination, people across our country and around the world are finally motivated to march with them for change.