A group of Parkland shooting survivors are expected to lead hundreds of thousands of people in calling for stricter gun control policies this weekend. Organized in part by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the official March For Our Lives rally will descend on Washington, D.C. this Saturday to demand lawmakers pass comprehensive gun control legislation. But gun control advocates won't just be marching in our nation's capital; a number of other March For Our Lives rallies will take place around the world. So, what is a sibling march?
The Parkland student survivors behind the advocacy group #NeverAgain will join other gun control advocates in marching on Washington this Saturday to demand elected officials "pass legislation that will protect and save children from gun violence." But you don't have to drop everything and head to the nation's capital to stand in solidarity with Parkland survivors and have your voice heard. Hundreds of so-called "sibling marches" will take place around the country and across the globe for those unable to make it to Washington this weekend.
According to March For Our Lives organizers, there are more than 830 sibling marches planned worldwide. From Honolulu, Hawaii to Anchorage, Alaska to Los Angeles, California to Portland, Maine, it appears as if at least one sibling march has been planned in every state. A number of sibling marches or vigils have also been planned in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. Check out the official website for the March For Our Lives event to see if there's a march planned near you.
Having trouble finding an event near you? If on the off chance there isn't a rally or march taking place near you, Everytown For Gun Safety has coordinated with March For Our Lives organizers on a toolkit to help others get involved. "While not everyone can make it to Washington, everyone can mobilize in their own community!" the toolkit states. "The collective voices of the March For Our Lives movement will be heard." The toolkit provides step-by-step instructions and tips for how those eager to participate can go about planning a march in their local area.
March For Our Lives organizers are demanding lawmakers ban the sale of assault weapons, nothing that "of the 10 deadliest shootings over the last decade, seven involved the use of assault weapons." March For Our Lives organizers' list of demands also includes restricting the sale of high-capacity magazines and closing loopholes in current background check laws. According to organizers this loophole "allows dangerous people who shouldn't be allowed to purchase firearms to slip through the cracks and buy guns online or at gun shows."
"The children of this country can no longer go to school in fear that each day could be their last," March For Our Lives organizers said in a statement on their event's official website.
Seventeen people were killed Feb. 14 when a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. According to the gun-control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, which is helping Parkland students coordinate the March For Our Lives event, the country has seen nearly 300 school shootings since 2013, which averages out to roughly one shooting per week.
But while Parkland shooting survivors and gun control advocates are hoping to draw elected officials' attention by marching on Washington, President Donald Trump may not even be at the White House. According to the South Florida's Sun Sentinel, a recent advisory from the Federal Aviation Administration has suggested Trump will be Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach on Saturday. Lucky for Trump, a sibling march will take place on Southern Blvd in West Palm Beach.