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‘Enough of killing, enough of being scared’: Students stage another gun violence walkout

From Houston to Indianapolis, thousands of students walked out of schools Friday morning to participate in staged sit-ins, marches, and moments of silence to demand action on gun legislation and mark the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. Lisa Desjardins reports on the renewed push for gun control and what change it could bring in Washington.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    But first– thousands of students walked out of schools nationwide this morning in the latest mass protest against gun violence.

    The events marked the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado that killed 13.

    Lisa Desjardins reports on this day's events.

  • Man:

    So, now pause for a moment of silence to honor the victims of Columbine.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    The scene was repeated across the country, moments of silence in places like Indianapolis.

    Students and teachers in a Houston high school forming a paper chain of names of people slain by gun violence. And everywhere, as in New Haven, Connecticut, protests and appeals for action to stop mass shootings.

  • Student:

    We as a nation cannot afford routine mass murders. We need action now. We need to remind our politicians that this is us. These are our children who are dying.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    In Washington, D.C., students staged sit-down protest in front of the White House.

  • Student:

    All of these are Columbine victims. We stopped saying their names a long time ago. So, until the end of this moment of silence, I will continue to repeat their names, so you guys don't forget them.

    Rachel Scott, Daniel Rohrbough, Dave Sanders, Kyle Velasquez.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    From there, they marched to the Capitol and demanded action on gun legislation.

  • Veronica Gould-Schultz:

    Because I think the people of the United States really do deserve that. They deserve to live in a place where you don't have to be worried about going to CVS or going to school or walking down the street just because of what you look like or because someone had a bad day.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Students from Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 were killed in February, also walked out.

    They have led a push for stronger background checks and bans on bump stocks and assault-type rifles. That push is national, again today up to the steps of the Capitol.

    Shortly after the last student walkouts in March, Congress did pass two gun measures. They were to shore up the current background check system, and also get more funding to states. But neither of those changed current law, and there is no expectation that Congress will return to the gun issue any time this year.

    President Trump has said the mental health system needs improvement, and he's supported the idea of letting teachers carry guns at schools.

  • President Donald Trump:

    This would only be, obviously, for people that are very adept at handling a gun. You would no longer have a gun-free zone. Gun-free zone to a maniac, because they're all cowards, a gun-free zone is, let's go in and let's attack, because bullets aren't coming back at us.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    The president also formed a school safety commission, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

    But students at the U.S. Capitol today demanded more concrete action to address their generation's fears.

  • Caliyah Riley:

    We want people to have that sense of comfort again and be able to walk around the street and not have to put your hands up all time because you see a cop car. Enough of violence, enough of killing, enough of being scared.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    This, as today, in Marion County, Florida, another school shooting left one student wounded.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I'm Lisa Desjardins.

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