Teenagers stage 'lie-in' outside White House in support of Parkland shooting victims

A group of Washington, D.C., teenagers staged a “lie-in” outside the White House on Monday to show their support for the victims of last week’s mass shooting at a Florida high school — and to demand action from President Trump on gun control.

The students, with Teens for Gun Reform, took turns lying down for three minutes to symbolize “how quickly” the organization says suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz could have legally purchased the gun he allegedly used to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14.

“We have organized this protest in solidarity with all of those who were affected by the horrific school shooting in Florida,” the organization, which was formed following last week’s massacre, said in a statement posted on its Facebook page. “We call on President Trump and leaders from both parties to finally act in the interest of America’s youth and end these tragic mass shootings!”

Dozens of teenagers participated in Monday’s lie-in. More than 700 people RSVP’d for the event on Facebook.

Trump, who is spending the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, was not at the White House at the time of the protest.

Demonstrators participate in a “lie-in” outside the White House on Feb. 19. (Photo: AP/Evan Vucci)
Demonstrators participate in a “lie-in” outside the White House on Feb. 19. (Photo: AP/Evan Vucci)

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The demonstration was just one of several student-led protests planned in response to the Florida school shooting.

A national school walkout organized by Stoneman Douglas students is planned for March 14. A separate walkout, organized by a Connecticut high school student, is scheduled for April 20 on what will be the 19th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School. And a “March For Our Lives” event, also organized by a group of students at Stoneman Douglas, is slated for March 24 in Washington. Each protest has a similar mission: to demand action on gun control.

“We are going to make ourselves so loud and so brazen so they won’t be able to ignore us in the White House,” Delaney Tarr, a Stoneman Douglas senior who is helping to organize the “March For Our Lives” event, said on “CBS This Morning.”

At a weekend rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday, Tarr and other survivors of last week’s shooting gave impassioned speeches calling for congressional action on guns.

“They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence — we call B.S.!” Emma Gonzalez, another senior, said at the rally. “They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun — we call B.S.! They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars — we call B.S.! They say that no laws could have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred — we call B.S.! That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works — we call B.S.!”

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