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US Students Lobby for Gun Control in Second Annual National Walkout Day (VIDEOS)

© REUTERS / Leah Mills / High school students demonstrate outside the U.S. Capitol building over gun violence and school shootings in Washington
High school students demonstrate outside the U.S. Capitol building over gun violence and school shootings in Washington - Sputnik International
For the second year, US students across the country organized their peers and headed demonstrations protesting gun violence and advocating for firearm reform, as well as remembering the 17 high schoolers who lost their lives in the 2018 Parkland school shooting.

Chanting catchy slogans such as "hey hey, ho ho, the NRA has got to go" and "books not bullets," students from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, took to Capitol Hill March 14 in "#NationalWalkoutDay" to voice their concerns and demand Congress take action to end gun violence.

Various events and gatherings were planned for the poignant day, but Women's March Youth Empower and Youth Climate Strike headed the March 14 charge and allowed students across the nation to organize their own events under the organization's "#ENOUGH" umbrella.

Arriving via everything from charter buses to public transportation, students seemed eager to march against gun violence (even with the early wake-up call).

Those marching on Capitol Hill made deliberate statements in remembrance as they released 17 balloons in memory of each Parkland victim and turned their backs to the White House as they sat in silence for 17 minutes.

Aside from those 17 minutes, DC appeared lively, and the crowd continued to grow in size as the day went on.

Though the focus of the day for many was remembrance and reform through a school safety lens, some young adults, such as Washington, DC, student Sean Beach, want to see changes across the board. 

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"I can hear guns being shot outside my building; like, I can hear them on the back street. But now it happens so often, I got used to it now. That's sad to say. If we're going to stop school shootings, we have to stop all shootings," Beach told WAMU.

One year after the 2018 demonstration advocating for gun reform and a year and a month after the Parkland shooting that claimed 17 students' lives, 26 states (and Washington, DC) have enacted 67 new gun safety laws, according to the Giffords Law Center.

Despite the increase in legislation, little legal progress has been made in attempts to expand the scope of background checks for potential firearm owners due to party-line contention in Congress.

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