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Monday, March 26, 2018

Parkland students demand harsher gun control acts on Washington

Por Damian

Trying to pressure members of Congress on stricter gun control laws, two hundred Parkland students arrived this week at the US Capitol. The scholars made an effort to reach Washington before the "March for Our Lives", a manifestation that was announced after the shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The students were joined by a group of democrat reps: Ted Deutch, from Boca Raton; Senators Bill Nelson and Amy Klobuchar, from Florida and Minnesota, respectively; and former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, along with her husband, Captain Mark Kelly. Giffords and Kelly founded the Giffords organization against gun violence, which paid for travel expenses and organized the visit to Washington of approximately 200 Parkland students.

"We came here today to hold politicians accountable for their disturbing inaction," said Demitri Hoth, a senior at Stoneman Douglas, at a rally in the Capitol. "Never again will our voices, the voices of the students, be silenced."

According to Ted Deutch, the students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have energized the nation. "Congress did more yesterday than it has done in recent times, and they did it because of these students and the movement they started”, said the rep.

The rally launched a day of political activity for Parkland students, who hope to seize the momentum created by the #NeverAgain movement with the goal of putting pressure on the Congress to approve new laws on weapons. In a sense, the students arrived at the right time. Just hours after Congress passed legislation that fills gaps in the federal system of gun buyers and pays for school safety projects, students flooded Dirksen´s office building looking for other proposals: prohibition of assault weapons, high capacity loaders and thorough background checks.

After meeting in the event room of the Standards and Administration Committee with rep Ted Deutch, Nelson and former Vice President Joe Biden, the estudents split up into dozens of small groups. Each scholar brought with them conversation points and realistic expectations. "If they refuse to meet with you, then there's the answer," Biden told the students.

In a different scenario, the Republican Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, said at a press conference on Thursday afternoon that petitioning efforts by the families of Parkland's victims, as well as students, have created a "legislative impulse" in Washington.