DC students stage ‘lie in’ at White House to stand up for gun reform

World Today

U.S. President Donald Trump plans to meet with high school students, teachers and, other officials to discuss school safety this week.

The ‘listening sessions’ come in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

On Monday, the 19-year-old confessed gunman made a court appearance. His ability to obtain an assault weapon has led to calls for gun reform.

According to the White House, President Trump supports improved background checks. Nationwide, students are organizing protests to urge the president and lawmakers to go further. A group called ‘Teens for Gun Reform’ staged a ‘lie-in’ outside the White House.

CGTN’s Jim Spellman spoke with an organizer of the event.

A crowd of young protesters gathered in front of the White House Monday to demand U.S. lawmakers enact tighter gun control measures. The demonstration comes less than a week after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Seventeen people were killed during the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The suspect, 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, has confessed to gunning down students and teachers with an AR-15 rifle. He now charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. His lawyers have said he will plead guilty if prosecutors agree not to pursue the death penalty.

“I’m out here today to join all the people who are disappointed by ‘thoughts and prayers’. We want to do something about this, It needs to be stopped,” Olivia Yashroff, a 14-year-old protestor, said.

Seventeen protestors lay down on the street in front of the White House – one for each of the victims of the Florida shooting.

“It should be our leaders and our adults who should be leading the cause, but unfortunately, they are not doing a very good job so it falls on kids like my daughter to take a stand,” Joe Yashroff, Olivia’s father, said.

Sixteen-year-old Eleanor Nuechterlein helped organize the protest.

“My message is that politicians need to do something. We are under 18. We are the same age as the victims of the shootings last week, and we want something to be done. It’s not our parents. It’s not adults. It’s us,” Nuechterlein said.

More protested are being planned in the coming months.

“Until something is done there’s going to be more school shootings, More shootings in general and that’s not OK,” Nuechterlein added.