13 Gun Violence Protest Sign Ideas To Use At March For Our Lives
The highly-anticipated March For Our Lives will take place in hundreds of locations around the country on Saturday to demand gun law reform. If you're one of the hundreds of thousands of people who will be attending, you're probably getting your preparations in order right about now. You may even be looking for some protest sign ideas for the March For Our Lives.
If so, there are a couple of basic parameters you should know. Some marches have set limits on size for signs and banners: In D.C., they can't be more than 20 inches by 30 inches by 0.25 inches (check the latest updates from sister marches for size restrictions elsewhere). In many places, including D.C. and New York City, signs made of metal or wood will be prohibited for safety reasons.
But beyond that, you're free to express yourself as you wish. And you should definitely take the chance to do so: Signs are an invaluable part of protest rallies. They energize fellow marchers. They help coalesce a movement's principles into key, memorable ideas. And they show the world — both the people watching remotely and the historians looking back at this march years in the future — exactly what you're fighting for.
That said, it can be hard to come up with an excellent idea for a poster. If you're struggling, here are some ideas already out there from which you can draw inspiration.
Arms Are For Hugging
The childlike tone of this message helps evoke the stakes of the gun violence issue: youth lives.
Not One More
Simple phrases shouldn't be dismissed — they are often the most memorable.
Are Guns More Precious Than Us?
Think about the tone you want your sign to take. One option is to use it to state your point of view. Another is to challenge onlookers to change theirs, like this girl above. The tricky part, of course, is that you have limited space with which to do so — but that can also be an asset. "If the effort of prose is to persuade," writes Alexander Akin in The New Antiquarian, protest signs are "the epitome of concise communication."
Protect Lives, Not Lobbyists
Pro-gun politicians have been accused of following marching orders from the National Rifle Association instead of doing what's best for their constituents. President Trump actually leveled that criticism at Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) during a televised meeting about gun reform last month. Since then, the president has walked back many of his own gun reform ideas.
I'm Not A Human Shield
The Parkland gunman killed several adults who sacrificed themselves for students. However, the rhetoric in the aftermath of the massacre left some educators worried that the public expected them to lay down their lives. Teachers "are not self-sacrificing martyrs," wrote one educator in Fortune. "They are professionals with a specific and limited skill set who also have their own families and lives and hobbies."
I Have A Masters In Teaching, Not In Marksmanship
Some conservatives have been pushing legislation that would arm teachers. In fact, Florida passed a law earlier this month that included a limited program to do just that, as well as raising the minimum age of purchasing firearms from 18 to 21 and banning bump stocks.
The Rest Of Their Lives
When young activists across the country walked out of class in protest of gun violence earlier in the month, they drew a lot of criticism from conservatives. This sign is an excellent response, and a reminder — because there can never be too many — that the students who've been killed by guns were real, flesh-and-blood humans who were robbed of decades of living.
I Want To Read Books, Not Eulogies
If you're struggling to come up with an idea for a sign, consider highlighting one of the everyday effects that gun violence has on survivors and victims' families.
You've Already Given Up On Democracy
Sometimes, the best signs are the kind that force you to stop and think about the arguments at play, and how some of them, upon closer examination, are quite silly.
Actually, Guns Really Do Kill People
It's demonstrably true. On a somewhat less snarky note, "One Child Is Worth More Than All The Guns On Earth" also sends a powerful message.
Money Killed My Friends
It's dark but powerful reminder of how much money is spent in an attempt to block any form of gun control.
Old Enough To Get Shot At, But Not Old Enough To Have An Opinion?
Another good response to the "kids should be in school, not protesting" crowd.