On Friday across the nation, thousands of young people walked out of school to commemorate the anniversary of the killings at Columbine and in support of ending gun violence. Locally the group was approximately over 400 students and adults.
They gathered at Brown’s Island to hear students from local high schools explain tell their story.
The protest continued on the Capitol steps with more speeches from students and politicians. Notable politicians included a representative from the Mayor’s office, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, and Governor Ralph Northam.
Lori Haas, the Virginia state director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence told the story of what inspired her to take action. It was the non-fatal shooting of her daughter at Virginia Tech, 11 years ago.
The event had an interesting balance between hope for the future in seeing the young activists and just straight up anger at the situation we find our nation in.
The most common phrases from the speeches and the march were:
- If you can’t change their minds, change their seats.
- Vote them out.
- Enough is enough.
Every major piece of gun control legislation died in committee during the past legislative session. Time will tell whether the legislators heard the message from the streets of Richmond on Friday.