Anguished students take aim at gun laws, next election
Charlie Goodman looked at the massive crowd around him, the largest youth-led protest in Washington since the Vietnam War era. He listened to people speak about toughening gun laws. They included some of his peers at the Florida high school who've sparked this movement, as well as the 9-year-old granddaughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King.
Chin high and tears streaming, Florida school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez stood silent in front of thousands gathered for the "March for Our Lives" rally in Washington, D.C.
She continued to stand silently as a few crowd members shouted out support. She remained silent as tentative chants broke out. Her silence continued as those attending also fell quiet, many weeping.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Student survivors of the Florida school massacre anchored a massive rally against gun violence Saturday in Washington, D.C., while throngs of young people took to the streets in sister marches across the U.S. Some students also participated in counter protests in places like Helena, Montana, and Salt Lake City.
Here's a look at what some of the demonstrators had to say:
TALIA RUMSKY, 16
SCHOOL: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida
- 'I'm looking for tougher gun laws'
- 'I've been genuinely really terrified of guns'
- 'We keep chanting 'Never Again' ... but it's already happened again'
- 'I want to see safer schools'
- 'It happened to our school, and it shouldn’t have happened.'
- 'I don't want to have to keep doing shooter drills'
- 'We are here to advocate for the Second Amendment'
- 'I feel there really needs to be a change'
People across the nation take part in demonstrations against gun violence.
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — The march approaching Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, snaked for two miles Saturday, with thousands of students, teachers, parents and supporters chanting in favor of tighter gun laws they believe would have prevented last month's massacre there.
"Enough is enough," they shouted. "No more AR-15s," referring to semi-automatic rifle the killer used.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said Sunday that students who have rallied for gun control should instead learn CPR or find their own way to prevent a school shooting.
"How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that," the Republican said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Before the shooting had even stopped, teenagers hiding at their Florida high school were talking about gun control. Within days, they had launched a crusade against gun violence — one that will result in a nationwide series of protests Saturday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A doctored animation and photo have surfaced online appearing to show one of the survivors of the Florida high school shooting tearing up the U.S. Constitution.
The image of Emma Gonzalez was doctored from a March 23 "Teen Vogue" story in which she ripped up a shooting range target. The publication's editors pointed out the fake image on Twitter.
The doctored animation and news stories about it were shared nearly 70,000 times on social media.
Tweet offering home to gun protesters launches movement
WASHINGTON (AP) — It started with a rare tweet by a woman who had — "maybe" — 28 followers on Twitter.
Elizabeth Andrews, a D.C. attorney and mother of a high schooler, was moved by the poise and eloquence of students from Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the deadly Feb. 14 shooting. So four days after the shooting, she tweeted an offer to host young protesters coming to Washington for the newly announced March For Our Lives rally in support of stronger gun control measures.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kaitlynn Willoughby was frustrated by how quickly gun control debates stalled after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Her friend, 20-year-old Quinton Robbins, was among the 58 people killed Oct. 1 at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. By the holidays, just weeks later, calls for change dissipated.
"No one was listening to us yet," the 18-year-old high school senior said. "After Las Vegas, it was just another shooting."
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They bowed their heads in honor of the dead. They carried signs with messages like "Never again" and "Am I next?" They railed against the National Rifle Association and the politicians who support it.
And over and over, they repeated the message: Enough is enough.
In a wave of protests one historian called the largest of its kind in American history, tens of thousands of students walked out of their classrooms Wednesday to demand action on gun violence and school safety.
AP Photos: Students across US walk out over gun violence
Students across the country and the globe walked out of school Wednesday to demand action on gun violence and to honor the 17 people killed in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida. From campuses battling snowstorms to schools that have seen their own fatal shootings, students left their classrooms for 17 minutes — one each for the dead in the Florida rampage. In all, more than 3,000 walkouts were planned, organizers said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on student-led protests against gun violence (all times Eastern Daylight Time):
A contingent of survivors of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting is among the thousands of marchers at a gun control rally in Denver.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Summoned to action by student survivors of the Florida school shooting, hundreds of thousands of teenagers and their supporters rallied in the nation's capital and cities across America on Saturday to press for gun control in one of the biggest youth protests since the Vietnam era.
Gun control rally begins where the movement was sparked
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Thousands of people filled a park near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at a "March for Our Lives" rally near the site of last month's school massacre in Parkland, Florida.
Saturday's rally in South Florida had the feel of a campaign event. Students wore maroon T-shirts — the school's color — and chanted slogans such as "Enough is enough." They held signs that read, "why do your guns matter more than our lives?" and "our ballots will stop bullets."
Trump leaves lawmakers hanging on gun priorities
WASHINGTON (AP) — In his quest to tackle gun violence, President Donald Trump has ricocheted between calling for tougher laws and declaring his fealty to the Second Amendment's right to bear arms, leaving a trail of befuddled lawmakers and advocates in his wake.
One thing he still has not done: clearly outline his legislative priorities.
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia lawmakers' decision to punish Delta Air Lines for publicly distancing itself from the National Rifle Association was an extraordinary act of political revenge.
By killing a proposed tax break on jet fuel, pro-gun Republicans won a political victory that could pay off in the short term, but other companies won't soon forget that Georgia allied itself with the NRA over one of its largest private employers, with 33,000 workers statewide.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on Georgia lawmakers' decision to punish Delta Air Lines for cutting ties with the National Rifle Association (all times local):
A Delta Air Lines spokesman confirms only 13 members of the National Rifle Association bought discounted tickets using a perk later withdrawn by the airline following the school massacre in Florida.
NEW YORK (AP) — Kroger and L.L. Bean said Thursday they will no longer sell guns to anyone under 21, becoming the third and fourth major retailers this week to put restrictions in place that are stronger than federal laws. The announcements follow those by Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart, emphasizing the pressure companies are facing to take a stand.
ATLANTA (AP) — Pro-gun Georgia lawmakers Thursday took revenge on Delta for crossing the National Rifle Association, killing a proposed tax break on jet fuel that would have saved the airline millions.
A sweeping tax bill with the fuel exemption stripped out by the Republicans passed the GOP-controlled House and Senate by wide margins, just days after Delta reacted to the school massacre in Florida by announcing it would no longer offer discount fares to NRA members.
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Resuming classes two weeks after a mass shooting at a Florida high school has been a traumatic adjustment for some parents of children who survived the tragedy.
Melissa Broccoli and Christine Dunhill were shaking as they reunited Thursday at their usual pick-up spot outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They had not seen each other since Feb. 14, when they believe Nikolas Cruz drove past them in an Uber onto campus, where he fatally shot 17 people.
A city in mourning
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Students and teachers hugged and cried Wednesday as they returned under heavy police guard to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High for the first time since a teenager with an assault rifle killed 17 people and thrust the huge Florida school into the center of a renewed national gun debate.
The half-day began with fourth period so that the nearly 3,300 students could first be with the people they were with during the shooting two weeks ago.
NEW YORK (AP) — Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart took steps Wednesday to restrict gun sales, adding two retail heavyweights to the growing rift between corporate America and the gun lobby.
Dick's said it will immediately stop selling assault-style rifles and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21. Its CEO took on the National Rifle Association by demanding tougher gun laws after the massacre in Florida.
Columbine principal’s advice is sought after Fla. shooting
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — After school shootings like the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, administrators reach out to former Columbine High principal Frank DeAngelis for advice, since there is no book to teach what he learned after gunmen killed 12 of his students and a teacher in 1999.
Guns in schools? 2 Columbine survivors are split on issue
DENVER (AP) — Patrick Neville was outside, sneaking off to smoke with friends, and avoided the outburst of gunfire at Columbine High School nearly two decades ago, but he did not dodge the heartbreak. A close friend died, and the anguish in his father's eyes is seared in Neville's memory.
Trump says he would have rushed into Florida school, unarmed
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, who's been highly critical of the law enforcement response to the Florida school shootings, says he would have rushed in, unarmed, if he'd been there.
Speaking to a roomful of governors at the White House, Trump said Monday, "You don't know until you're tested, but I think I really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too."
After Florida rampage, some owners are destroying their guns
ATLANTA (AP) — One man in upstate New York sawed his AR-15 rifle into pieces and posted a video of it on Facebook. A woman in Connecticut did the same with her handgun. Not far from scene of the Florida high school shooting, another man brought his assault weapon to police and asked them to destroy it.
In response to the killings of 17 people by a 19-year-old with an AR-15, some gun owners are waging personal protests against mass shootings.
Colleges: Student protesters shouldn’t worry about admission
As some high school students face the threat of disciplinary action for participating in gun control demonstrations, dozens of colleges and universities are sending them a reassuring message: It won't affect their chances of getting into their schools.
Nearly 50 schools, from Ivy Leaguers to public institutions, have taken to social media over the past few days to reassure students that taking part would not jeopardize admissions consideration.
The Latest: No answer at home of school’s ex-armed officer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the deadly Florida school shooting (all times local):
Lights in the home were on and cars were parked in the driveway, but no one answered the door bell during attempts to reach a former armed officer on duty at the Parkland, Florida, school where a shooter killed 17 people last week.
MLK’s daughter supports students, says gun changes overdue
ATLANTA (AP) — As the 50th anniversary of her father's assassination approaches, the daughter of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. said Thursday that limiting access to guns is long overdue.
The Rev. Bernice King, speaking at The King Center in Atlanta, offered condolences to the families of the 17 people fatally shot Feb. 14 at a Florida high school and commended survivors for their activism to change gun laws.
Trump comments points to deep divisions over arming teachers
Utah teacher Kasey Hansen says carrying a concealed weapon in school is "more of a solution" than hiding in a corner and waiting if an armed intruder enters the classroom. But Texas teacher Tara Bordeaux worries that she lacks "the instincts" of a law enforcement officer and can't easily see herself carrying a gun in class.
Shooting survivors endure new assault _ from online trolls
One student was teased about being a "brown, bald lesbian." Another was the target of conspiracy theorists who claimed he was really an actor. When a group of teens posed for a photo, they were accused of lapping up attention from the news cameras and "partying like rock stars."
Just days after watching their classmates die, survivors of the Florida school shooting came under a different kind of assault, this time from online trolls who threatened the students as they seek tighter gun laws.
Sen. Rubio says he would support raising age to buy rifles
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — On the defensive after the Florida school shooting rampage that killed 17, GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, an ardent gun-rights advocate, said he would support raising the age to buy rifles and other restrictions.
Rubio faced angry students, teachers and parents demanding stronger gun-control measures at a town hall meeting Wednesday in Florida.
Angry teens swarm into Florida Capitol; demand new gun laws
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A week after a shooter slaughtered 17 people in a Florida high school, thousands of protesters, including many angry teenagers, swarmed into the state Capitol on Wednesday, calling for changes to gun laws, a ban on assault-type weapons and improved care for the mentally ill.
‘Fix it!’ Gun violence plea to Trump from students, parents
WASHINGTON (AP) — Spilling out wrenching tales of lost lives and stolen security, students and parents appealed to President Donald Trump on Wednesday to set politics aside and protect America's school children from the scourge of gun violence. Trump listened intently to the raw emotion and pledged action, including the possibility of arming teachers.
School shooting victims plead with Trump for action
WASHINGTON (AP) — With searing anger, raw emotion and heartfelt pleas, parents, students and others impacted by school shootings implored President Donald Trump to take action at the White House Wednesday.
"Thank you for pouring out your hearts because the world is watching," Trump told them after hearing their stories. Here is some of what they shared:
Lawmaker: Prayers delivered to Trump unrelated to shooting
CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois congressman says a photo of him delivering a bag of prayer cards to President Donald Trump was taken nearly a year ago and had nothing to do with last week's deadly school shooting in Florida.
Florida workers’ pension fund invested in gun manufacturers
TALAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's main pension fund for state workers and teachers has a half-million-dollar stake in the company that makes the rifle used in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The Florida Retirement System had more than 41,000 shares in American Outdoor Brands Co. with a market value of $528,000, according to a Dec. 31 securities filing posted on its website. American Outdoor Brands is the Massachusetts-based parent company of Smith & Wesson.
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Speaking out: Students who survived shooting talk activism
Many students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have turned into outspoken gun control advocates. Some of them say their stance on gun rights has changed. Others believed if they stayed silent, nothing would change.
About 100 of them traveled to the state capital to talk to Florida lawmakers Wednesday about tougher gun restrictions. During their 400-mile trip to Tallahassee, they spoke with The Associated Press. Here are some of their stories:
Florida school shooting survivors are not ‘crisis actors’
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Two students who survived the Florida school shooting and spoke publicly about it are not "crisis actors," despite the claims of several conspiracy-oriented sites and an aide to a Florida lawmaker.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, are among those targeted by conspiracy theories about the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 people.
Colorado congressman booed as people demand action on guns
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) — Grumbling and jeers met the request for a moment of silence for the 17 people killed last week in the Florida school shooting.
"Let's do something for them!" one man yelled at the beginning of Republican Rep. Mike Coffman's town hall Tuesday night. Another participant cried out, "We're done with thoughts and prayers!"
Florida survivors, lawmakers on collision course over guns
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Students who survived the Florida school shooting began a journey Tuesday to the state Capitol to urge lawmakers to prevent another massacre, but within hours the gun-friendly Legislature had effectively halted any possibility of banning assault-style rifles like the one used in the attack.
15-year-old shot 5 times protecting classmates from gunfire
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — A 15-year-old student who was shot five times during last week's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students.
A fundraising site says Anthony Borges was shot in both legs and his back while attempting to close and lock a classroom door last Wednesday. Seventeen people were killed.
MLB players honor Florida shooting victims, wear school hats
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Major League Baseball players will honor victims of last week's shooting in Florida by wearing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hats at spring training games this week.
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