Thousands of students in the Delaware Valley Region have joined the nationwide “March For Our Lives” rally led by the survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting massacre. The march started at noon, with participants gathering on Pennsylvania Avenue. Dozens of students and activists from the Philadelphia region took part in the march, leaving in buses early Saturday morning.
Building on the momentum of last week’s National School Walkout, these members of a generation raised on gun violence have been rallying Americans around their cause while honouring the 17 students and faculty members killed on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
America’s gun problem:
About 40% of Americans say they own a gun or live in a household with one, according to a 2017 survey, and the rate of murder or manslaughter by firearm is the highest in the developed world. There were more than 11,000 deaths as a result of murder or manslaughter involving a firearm in 2016.
There were near twice as many suicides involving firearms in 2015 as there were murders involving guns, and the rate has been increasing in recent years. Suicide by firearm accounts for almost half of all suicides in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Military-style assault-style weapons have been blamed for some of the major mass shootings such as the attack in an Orlando nightclub and at the Sandy Hook School in Connecticut.
But a majority of Americans say they are dissatisfied with US gun laws and policies, and most of those who are unhappy want stricter legislation.