Thousands rally in Florida to push for tighter gun control laws, following the school shooting in Parkland. Picture: Getty/AFP
Thousands rally in Florida to push for tighter gun control laws, following the school shooting in Parkland. Picture: Getty/AFP

Anger turns into anti-gun rally

THOUSANDS of people have gathered at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, some 40 kilometres from where 17 people were shot and killed at a high school last week.

Students from the high school where the shooting took place spoke passionately during the rally in front of the federal courthouse, pleading with politicians to change the nation's gun laws.

The crowd chanted slogans such as "No more" and "How many more?"

One teen, Emma Gonzalez, angrily criticised politicians who take campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA), and challenged them to stop taking money.

She also said adults who knew that the shooter was mentally ill should have done more to prevent him from having a weapon.

A mother of a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when 17 people were killed joins protesters. Picture: Getty
A mother of a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when 17 people were killed joins protesters. Picture: Getty

The Network for Public Education and the American Federation of Teachers has called on students, teachers and administrators to organise sit-ins, walkouts and other acts of protest on April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

The groups said the goal is to get politicians to enact gun control legislation.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said the answer to school violence is to keep guns away from people who should not have them. She said she hopes the April 20 protest turns into a broader movement for change.

Protester at the anti-gun rally on February 17. Picture: Getty/AFP
Protester at the anti-gun rally on February 17. Picture: Getty/AFP

In a speech on Saturday in Dallas, Vice President Mike Pence talked about school safety, but didn't give specifics.

He said the Justice Department is working with other agencies to "study the intersection of mental health and criminality."

He said that when president Donald Trump meets with governors in a few weeks, he will make school safety a top priority for the administration. He said the administration will "take a renewed look" at giving law enforcement and local authorities the tools they need to deal with people struggling with dangerous mental illness.

Some Republican legislators want to consider a bill to put trained, armed volunteers or school employees inside the state's public schools.

News Corp Australia


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