Thousands of students demand change at gun law reform rally

Ulysses Luna, Photo Co-Editor

Over 20,000 people showed up at the March for Our Lives rally in downtown Austin in late March to demand changes in laws to end gun violence especially in schools.

It was one of more than 800 similar rallies that were held across the country on March 24. On the same day, students who attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 people were killed by a mass shooter, held a huge March for Our Lives rally in which about 800,000 people attended in Washington, D.C. Some media outlets have said it was the largest student-led protest America has seen since the 1960s.

The Austin rally was organized by students who attend the Liberal Arts and Science Academy. It first started on as a Facebook event then blew up, becoming an statewide demonstration. Since the Feb. 14 shooting students at Stoneman Douglas High School have demanded that lawmakers take action to pass laws that would restrict access to firearms by closing loopholes in background check process and banning assault rifles. They have also proposed prohibiting high capacity magazines and raising the federal minimum age to purchase a firearm  to 21 on whoever owns and possess a gun. Activists have also called for increased spending for mental healthcare programs.

In 2012, 20 children, six adults were killed at a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Since then there have been more than 1,600 mass shootings, with at least 1,862 people killed and 6,529 wounded, according to the Gun Violence Archive

Speakers at the March For Our Lives rally in Austin frequently spoke about banning assault rifles like the AR-15 since it is the most common weapon used in deadly mass shootings such as the ones that happened In Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, Connecticut and Texas.