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Young people are pushing for progress on gun control, but they’re not alone in history


Young people from across the country are tackling one of the most complicated issues in America--gun control.

On Saturday, just blocks away from the Capitol, thousands of young people will take to the streets in the "March for Our Lives" rally.

This rally, was mobilized after a gunman killed 14 students and three staff members on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Survivors of the shooting, launched the #NeverAgain movement and they quickly became the faces of a national conversation on gun control.

“Not one more,” the March’s Mission Statement reads. “We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.”

With such an heartfelt plea, the students were able to lobby Florida lawmakers to enact gun legislation, persuaded big companies to cut ties with the NRA, and get President Trump to propose tougher federal gun legislation.

Many people around the country, have voiced their admiration for the students' bravery and for stepping up, but others have criticized them.

Former TV host Bill O’Reilly questioned, if the media should "be promoting opinions by teenagers who are in an emotional state and facing extreme peer pressure in some cases?"

A Florida legislator’s aide was fired after claiming two of the survivors on CNN were actors.

Despite facing some backlash in their fight for gun control, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High have shown that they will not back down.

But student-led movements are not a new phenomenon as history is full of students pushing for social change.

The Parkland students join the ranks as the latest group of teenagers and students to spearhead a social movement.

The 1960 Greensboro Sit-ins:

In the early 1960s, four teenage African-Americans walked up to a lunch counter at a segregated restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina and refused to leave.

After a few days they were joined by hundreds more people.

The sit-ins spread to more than 50 cities, which caused many restaurants to desegregate.

The sit-ins paired with many other non-violent protests inspired the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Vietnam War:

College students started the movement against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

The protests started on college campuses and picked up momentum in 1965.

Anti-war marches and protest were organized by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which peaked in 1968 after the Tet offensive by North Vietnam that cost heavy casualties shocking a majority of Americans into doubting the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Anti-War protests helped inspire the 26th Amendment in 1971, which lowered the voting age to 18.

Iran, 1999:

Hundreds of thousands of young Iranians, mostly students, were behind the protest of Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election win in 2009, which led to widespread international outrage.

Malala Yousafzai:

In October 2012, Malala Yousafzai, was only 15-years-old when she was shot in the face for standing up to the Taliban.

In 2014, the Pakistani activist, became the youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and continues to fight for girls education.

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