WASHINGTON, D.C. — Parents, children, students, and teachers from all over Montgomery County rallied at the nation’s capital for the countrywide March For Our Lives demonstration in response to the increasing outbreaks of gun violence across the United States and calling for more attention to current gun control issues.
“I am marching today to proclaim that the culture of violence must be over and that assault weapons need to be banned. I want my daughter and their whole generation [to know] no matter what race you are, what class you are, our society deserves safety,” said Kolya Braun-Greiner, a 62-year-old Takoma Park resident, whose daughter currently attends The Siena School in Silver Spring. Braun-Greiner wants kids “to be able to walk the streets, to be able to go to school, to study with the freedom that they are not going to be shot down. All of this needs to stop, we have to put an end to the gun violence.”
While plenty of adults were present, young people attended the march in vast numbers. Students from various Montgomery County high schools participated in events including attendance of a pre-rally by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and speaking at the march.
“Montgomery County kids have definitely been a huge part of this,” said Elana Tobb, 17, a senior at Sherwood High School. “This is the first time that I think our county has really been involved in a [leadership] position with something like this.”
Tobb says she marched because she’s tired of seeing her peers being slaughtered and doesn’t feel safe in her school. “I have a lot of anxiety surrounding going to school now just because of how frequent these shootings are becoming and that fact that it literally can happen to any of us, I can be affected by this just as much as anyone else could,” she said.
Tobb was not the only local high school student who felt like this march was needed in order to foster change.
“People are dying and I think we need to do whatever we can to stop them,” said Zoe McIntosh, 17, a Blair High School junior also taking part in the march. “I think that participating in this march will really show politicians, especially the president that this is something that the American people, many of them, really truly care about.”
Although many students said they have not been directly affected by gun violence, many did stress they did not feel safe in their local high schools.
“Not personally, but I’m a student who is scared in school and I just want action in Congress,” said Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School sophomore Josh Garner, 16. “I don’t want people like me, kids and students like me to be in fear for their lives in school when there could just be easy precautions to save our lives.”
Along with students, teachers also marched in support of not only their students, but children nationwide.
“Why do we need to have these military assault-style weapons readily available to teenagers?” said Isabel Hernandez-Cata, music teacher at Montgomery Blair High School. “It is harder to get your driver’s license then it is to get an assault-style weapon.”