Students who participated in March for Our Lives share their experiences. This article has been re-posted by ABC News as part of a series of student reports. These are their words.
Tigard High School's The Paw -- Tigard, Oregon
By Elizabeth Blodgett
Despite the rain and cold temperature, on March 24, thousands of people gathered in downtown Portland, Oregon to have a peaceful protest over the matter. With chants such as “More Chocolate, Less Guns!” and “Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! The NRA has got to go” filling the air, Portlanders did not want to go unheard.
Before the actual march, the organizers made it very clear that this was a peaceful protest and to not antagonize the counter protesters. The speakers that were chosen all had one similar message, which was to not let our voices go unheard. Before even hearing those inspirational speeches, many people who marched were there for that same reason.
After the shooting in Florida, teenagers from all over the country raised their voices and took action to start the conversation about gun control. Since the beginning of 2018, there have been eight school shootings all over the country.
Several people marched because they came to the realization that it is time for change and that school shootings should not be a normal thing to see on the news. To show this many people made signs showing the NRA that they’ve had enough. Captions included, “We Call B.S.” and “Love Always! Trump Hates!”
Sophomore at Tigard High School, Jessica Woolfolk, 15, attended the march with a group of her friends so that their voices and their opinions could be heard.
“I wanted to go stand for the Parkland students, as well as every student who has ever lost their lives in a school shooting. The moment we stop talking about it, is the moment we normalize their deaths and that can’t happen,” Woolfolk said.
Woolfolk made it very clear that we need to send a message to the politicians, saying, “We are sick of feeling unsafe in schools. If they choose guns over the lives of kids, we will vote them out of office.”
This march wasn’t only allowing individuals to raise their voices and yell at the NRA. Sharon Huffman, 71, and her daughter Kacey Huffman, 43, came to the march to be heard and to make a difference for the future.
“It was also to inspire other people who aren’t marching that they have to pay attention to who they are electing,” Sharon Huffman said.
People from many different ages attended Portland’s March For Our Lives, and many agreed that there needs to be a solid solution so that America can build up from this horrendous incident.
“More restrictions need to be put in place so the people who shouldn’t have guns don’t get them or don’t have easy access to them. This doesn’t mean taking away guns from hunters and police officers, [but] making it harder to be able to get a device that can kill someone,” Iona Collins, 15, said.
These individuals who marched and shouted their hearts out have the hopes that the government will finally listen to the people.
“I really believe the power is in the people. When it comes down to numbers, the thousands of people who walked out are hard for politicians to ignore. We won’t be silent, we will not be pushed aside. Our numbers will grow and our voices will get louder until this never happens again,” Woolfolk said.
Many Americans will continue to call on lawmakers until there is a solid resolution. The next time there is a march or a rally, join in. Speak up and express the opinions of the people.
Students who participated in March for Our Lives share their experiences. This article has been re-posted by ABC News as part of a series of student reports.
Read more Voices of March for Our Lives stories here: