In what is shaping up to be the biggest gun control protest of the 21st century, hundreds of rallies for stricter gun control laws have been held across the United States. The #March For Our Lives has attracted some famous faces, which has upped its media exposure, so this could bring about some real legislative change. The movement was created after the deadly school shooting that took place in Florida back in February.

School shootings had become something of a regular occurrence in America. They were taking place more or less every week and it had come to be seen as the norm. The US government weren’t facing any flak for it and they were getting away with having gun laws that were far too loose, because they kept justifying mass shootings as being ‘the price of freedom.’ But then the students who survived the Parkland school shooting decided that wasn’t on and started the #NeverAgain movement and organised the March For Our Lives protests in order to bring on the necessary change.

Some of the survivors of the Sandy Hook shooting – the elementary school massacre in which 27 people were killed back in 2012 – turned out at the March For Our Lives rallies to protest the gun laws in America that have allowed for all of these mass shootings to take place. Matthew Soto, the brother of one of the victims of the #Sandy Hook shooting, said at one of the rallies, “America, I am pleading with you to realise this is not okay.”

The power of silence

Emma Gonzalez, one of the students who survived the Florida school shooting, was met with chants of “Emma, Emma, Emma” when she took the podium at one of the nationwide marches. Speaking at the Washington DC rally, Gonzalez gave the March For Our Lives protests one of their most emotionally charged and poignant moments when she listed the 17 people who were killed by the gunman at her high school, before falling totally silent.

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After a few minutes of complete silence, an alarm went off and Gonzalez turned it off and announced that six minutes and twenty seconds had passed – the exact amount of time that the mass shooting incident at her school lasted for. 11-year-old Naomi Wadler also elicited a strong audience response at the March For Our Lives as she took to the podium “to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page.”

Wadler worries that African-American girls in the media become “simply statistics” and don’t get remembered for the “vibrant, beautiful girls who are full of potential” that they are. Wadler’s message has been inspiring the nation, and has become one of the most publicised moments from the March For Our Lives protests. This is great, because it shows that her message is starting to work already. She’s an African-American girl on the front page!

Martin Luther King’s granddaughter echoed his iconic ‘I have a dream...’ speech

Yolanda Renee King, the nine-year-old granddaughter of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., also appeared at the rally to speak, and she too has a “dream.” Her grandfather made massive strides in the fight for desegregation and an end to racism in the 1950s and 1960s and he was a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement before he was assassinated.

One of the most memorable and iconic moments from MLK’s activist career was his “I have a dream...” speech.

The younger female King has a “dream,” too. She announced, “I have a dream that enough is enough.” She told the crowd that they needed to “spread the word all across the nation,” which was met with roaring applause. She said, “That this should be a gun-free world – period.” This is a nine-year-old child and she’s making more sense than the elected officials in Congress who make the laws and run the country. This is madness. #guns