Washington, D.C. — Five years ago this week, 17 students and educators were killed, and 17 more were wounded, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in a horrific shooting that never should have happened. Five years later to the day, young people and their loved ones experienced another shooting at Michigan State University this week that never should have happened – yet another terrifying reminder of America’s crisis of gun violence.
In the wake of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, young people were moved to turn their grief into action and birthed a movement that has achieved the unimaginable. And yet, today, young people still die needlessly looking down the barrel of a gun.
So once again, young people will stand up and fight back. The week of March 24 – the fifth anniversary of the March For Our Lives, one of the largest youth-led marches in history – we are planning major rallies and lobby days in state capitols around the nation, including Lansing, Mich., to demand action.
We are fighting in five states for five packages of legislation that will ban assault weapons, close background check loopholes, require safe storage of firearms, and other measures that will save lives and drastically reduce the number of children and young people who are shot and killed each year.
These rallies will send a simple message: Young people refuse to die waiting for change. We will continue to fight for our lives. And we intend to win.
March For Our Lives is mobilizing youth, parents, teachers, nurses, care providers, and everyone who cares about young people to demand action. Events are already planned in five cities, with more to be announced:
March 23: Rallies in Lansing, MI, Tallahassee, FL, and Harrisburg, PA
March 24: Rallies in Sacramento, CA
March 25: Rally in Austin, TX
This moment comes on the heels of the most impactful year since our founding when youth activists rose to meet the moment and passed the single most important piece of federal gun legislation in 30 years on top of dozens of state-level laws. Five years since our first march, we’ve won more than 250 gun laws.
Starting with the 2018 election, young voters also continue to turn out in record numbers to vote for pro-reform candidates. Young people were also the difference-maker in key states in the 2022 election, as our polling predicted, where gun safety majorities swept state legislatures and held the Senate, and we are primed for another banner year of transformational change in states.
“Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we all have people we care about and none of us want gun violence in this country to continue,” said David Hogg, Co-Founder of March For Our Lives. “Five years since our founding, March For Our Lives is stronger than ever, and we will continue to fight for change. The fear of gun violence continues to rule the lives of young people, and we deserve — and will claim — the right to be freed of that fear.”
“As our polling predicted, young people were the difference-maker in key states in the 2022 election where gun safety majorities swept state legislatures and held the U.S. Senate,” said Jaclyn Corin, Co-Founder of March For Our Lives. “We are primed for another banner year of transformational change in states and are mobilizing youth, parents, teachers, care providers, and everyone who cares about young people to demand action.”
“Gun violence isn’t inevitable, it’s a choice,” said Trevon Bosley, a youth member of the board of March For Our Lives. “Unfortunately, as this movement has grown, the gun violence epidemic has also grown. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death among children and young people. Kids literally live in fear of being shot at school. We refuse to die waiting for change. Young people have the power to make this country safer and we’re going to do it.”
“Young people are living in abject terror because of the universal threat of gun violence,” said Mariah Cooley, a youth member of the board of March For Our Lives. “Our political leaders have repeatedly failed to seriously and urgently respond to the nation’s gun violence crisis. We can’t afford that. We have a plan of action, and we will win the fight for our lives.”
“Students at MSU and their loved ones are experiencing the searing pain that is far too familiar to Americans,” said Zoe Touray, a survivor of the Oxford High School shooting and a member of March For Our Lives. “Some of the very same young people who survived a shooting just a year ago at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan are now experiencing the very same grief and trauma, once again. No one should have to relive the violence all over again. We are begging for action.”
Anyone interested in participating in one of the planned rallies can find more details about their local event here.