Ten days after thousands of Loudoun County teens left their classrooms in protest of gun violence, dozens joined the national March for Our Lives rally in Washington, DC, Saturday. The event, organized by the survivors of the Parkland, FL, shooting, was meant to be a visible demand for action to prevent shootings in schools.
Riverside High School student Yara Omar, armed with homemade protest signs, joined hundreds of thousands of others on Pennsylvania Avenue. Omar, a 16-year-old Lansdowne resident, said she felt compelled to march on behalf of those who have lost their lives, whether in a school shooting, a church or at the hands of the police.
“As a student, I believe every person has the right to pursue an education in a safe environment, free from the dangers of firearms, whether they be wielded by lone actors or the state,” she said. “By marching in Washington, DC, we are using our collective power to ensure our demands are heard, and that our generation effects a very needed change in U.S. gun policy.”
Specifically, she said she’d like to see a ban on military-grade weapons, a requirement for thorough background checks, and the legal age to purchase a gun raised to 21.