2018 : March for Our Lives Protest for Gun Control

March 24, 2023 all-day

Detroit students march along the Detroit River on Saturday, March 24 to protest gun violence. - JAY JURMA

Detroit students, teachers, and supporters march along the Detroit River in Detroit on Saturday, March 24, 2018 to protest gun violence.

March for Our Lives was a student-led demonstration in support of tighter gun control that took place on March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C., with over 800 sibling events throughout the United States and around the world.  Student organizers planned the march in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety. The event followed the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which was described by many media outlets as a possible tipping point for gun control legislation.

Protesters urged for universal background checks on all gun sales, raising the federal age of gun ownership and possession to the age of 21, closing of the gun show loophole, a restoration of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, and a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines in the United States.

Turnout was estimated to be 1,200,000 to 2,000,000 people in the United States, making it one of the largest protests in American history.

March for Our Lives in Michigan

Sunny skies and protest signs filled the air in downtown Detroit as thousands of protesters took to the streets in a march to end gun violence as part of the metro Detroit March for Our Lives demonstration.

Lead by local students, the protest brought out people from all walks of life to express their desire for changes in gun control laws in an effort to decrease gun violence in the wake of last month’s shooting at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Fla.

As protesters marched through Hart Plaza and downtown Detroit, they waived signs with anti-gun violence themes. Their chants of “Hey, Hey NRA, how many kids have you killed today?” and “Enough is enough!” filled the streets.

After the march concluded, protesters gathered around a stage in front of the RenCen where Detroit area students, local politicians, and community organizers took to the podium and spoke.

Pamela Beltran is a student at Detroit’s Cass Technical High School. She helped to organize her high school’s National Walkout Day protest on March 14 as well as the metro Detroit March for Our Lives march.  Beltran was also one of the march’s many speakers. Her speech offered a critique of the “thoughts and prayers” approach that many politicians take in the wake of school shootings.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow was also in attendance, sitting side stage and nodding in agreement as others spoke about how gun violence had impacted their lives.

“The biggest tragedy is that we as adults have not done enough to stop [gun violence],” Stabenow said. “Student voices are going to make change possible.”   Stabenow also commented on her wishes to ban the sale of military assault weapons and to arm teachers with books and resources rather than firearms

Additional protests were held in Lansing, Michigan and around the country.  Cydney Jenkins, a 14-year-old from Farmington Hills, organized the state Capitol march.

Gretchen Whitmer, a Democratic candidate governor and former state senator from East Lansing, said gun violence should not be a partisan issue and said the rally was not a moment but part of a movement.

State Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-Meridian Township, criticized the lack of action to address gun violence.

“Every time we’ve seen gun violence in this country, their only answer is more guns,” he said, referring to Republican lawmakers.

Chants broke out often throughout the speeches. “Vote them out” and “enough is enough” were among the most common.

Anthony Spak, “Detroit March for Our Lives demonstration attracts thousands to downtown protest“, Detroit Metro Times, March 24, 2018.

Matt Mencarini, “Michigan’s March for Our Lives draws thousands to Capitol“, Lansing State Journal, March 24, 2018.

For other coverage from around the country, see the March for our Lives wikipedia entry.

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