It has been 19 years since two gunmen killed 13 people and injured 23 others at Columbine High School in one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history. Two months ago, one gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Today, on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, students across the country are participating in walkouts to honor those killed by gun violence. They are calling on their elected officials to take a stand and bring about common sense gun reform to prevent more school shootings.
April 20 is the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting that claimed 13 lives.
19 years ago today, these 13 people were killed at #Columbine High School in Colorado.
This is why we fight. 19 years later, and this still happens. pic.twitter.com/qfkp6av9Hd
— Sofie Whitney (@sofiewhitney) April 20, 2018
At the time, the shooting was the worst mass shooting in the U.S. and changed the perception of safety in schools. Seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 12 classmates and a teacher before committing suicide. The shooting made international news and Columbine became a household name.
Students across the country are walking out to protest the National Rifle Association and the lack of gun reform to mark the anniversary of Columbine.
— Latino Victory (@latinovictoryus) April 20, 2018
Students also participated in demonstrations last month to mark the one month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The March for Our Lives event also took place last month to keep the issue in people’s minds during this election year.
Some people took their protest as close to lawmakers as possible.
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) April 20, 2018
The student activists from Parkland, Florida have been leading the movement for gun reform since the shooting on Feb. 14, 2018. While the students are protesting in a public way, they have continued to speak about the importance of voting.
Emma Gonzalez posted her own photos dressed in orange in solidarity with protesters.
I walked out so far I ended up in NY !❤️ Remembering Columbine today in our moments of silence, in servicing our communities, and in loving each other. Orange is the color for gun violence survivors, and we wear it today in solidarity of one another. pic.twitter.com/9SFSACvMlb
— Emma González (@Emma4Change) April 20, 2018
All protesters were told to wear orange since it is the color associated with the gun reform movement.
Students have filled parks with their bodies and stood in silence to honor the lives lost to gun violence.
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) April 20, 2018
✊? ✊? ✊?
One proud sister posted a video of her brother protesting by himself outside of his middle school.
My baby brother was up till 1am making posters (he made 11) for his school’s walkout but he was the only one who actually did it. Stand up for what u believe in even if you’re standing alone. #NationalSchoolWalkout @schoolwalkoutUS @lanemurdock2002 pic.twitter.com/RU0FbRUD1n
— Pardi B (@pardi_b) April 20, 2018
“So, I’m standing out here by myself on April 20. It’s the anniversary of Columbine, one of the worst mass shootings in the U.S.,” he says int he video. “Thirteen people were killed there. Twelve students. One of them was 14 years old. The 8th graders at my school are 14 years old, by the way, so I don’t understand why nobody is out here protesting with me about gun violence.”
Social media is filled with messages supporting the students in their fight.
I continue to be in awe of this generation of folks coming up. Despite everything in the world being on fire, they give me hope for our country's future. Shout-out to all participating in today's collective action on gun violence reform. #NationalSchoolWalkout
— Charlotte Clymer?️? (@cmclymer) April 20, 2018
And they continue to speak about the importance of voting.
If lawmakers don't understand that they were elected to fight for their constituents not the #NRA they should be voted out.
— #DreamActNow (@votolatino) April 20, 2018
“But we as a nation cannot afford routine mass murders. We need action now. We need to remind our politicians that this is us,” the speaker int he above video says. “There are our children who are dying and we will not rest until there is action. We gave them their power and we can take it away.”
Lastly, David Hogg, one of the faces of the movement, wants this day to be more than just a walkout.
Remember after you guys walk out, volunteer! Spend the rest of your day working in your community. This is also a day of service in remembrance of the Columbine Victims. #NationalSchoolWalkout
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) April 20, 2018
He is calling on all protesters to truly use their day as a service to remember the victims of Columbine.