This past March, demonstrators flooded the streets of major cities, including Washington D.C. and New York, to call for action against gun violence. The protests were promoted and planned by a group of students who survived the Parkland shootings in February.
As seen with previous marches, people made signs to showcase their frustration through peaceful protest. The signs used were not only empowering and taunting, but many were also heartbreaking.
1. The Woman Who Lost Her Daughter
The woman pictured, Paula Cross, lost her daughter to gun violence 40 years ago when her daughter’s father fatally shot her and then Cross three times with a handgun. It is a day that is hard to forget but painful to remember. In fact, this march was the first time Cross publicly told her story.
2. Misplaced Regulation
The sign rightfully criticizes America’s priorities and attempts to take action against two matters. There is widespread discussion on whether school dress code limits the freedom of female students, as it is often widely considered sexist that female clothing is scrutinized more often than male clothing. The difference in consequences for violating school dress code and carrying a gun on school property is striking.
3. Guns Are Easier to Acquire than Hamilton Tickets
This is one of the most relatable signs, poking fun at the fact that obtaining a ticket to Hamilton is incredibly difficult. The comparison between obtaining guns and tickets is disheartening as one can easily obtain a gun quicker and easier than a sold-out Broadway show in America – although one thinks it would be the other way around.
4. Protect Kids Not Guns
It is important when talking about gun violence to acknowledge how guns have not only been used in school shootings, but also used against people of color. The Black Lives Matter movement was based upon the deaths of Trevon Martin and others whose lives were taken by white men armed with guns. Kids should have more protection whereas our society, at this point, promotes the protection of guns instead.
5. SpongeBob Meme
A classic meme that displays a mocking tone towards the idea of arming teachers in schools, an idea that is supported by none other than Trump himself. The idea itself is not a good one, as bringing more guns into a school will not stop the problem but may in fact fuel it. Teachers did not sign up to be sharp shooters, they signed up to teach.
6. Beyoncé’s “Formation”
In 2012, Beyoncé appeared in a video with other celebrities demanding a plan to end gun violence, and today her lyrics are being used to do the same. Students are called to come together to inspire change. The younger generation has the power to change the world as these students are going to be the ones voting in future elections.
7. The Power of a Meme
The meme that took over the Internet in 2017 was brought back into the public eye when used to showcase Paul Ryan’s interest in the NRA money instead of protecting children’s best interests. Ryan has been a prominent political figure in refusing to support proposals to impose new restrictions on gun purchases as he stated, “We shouldn’t be banning guns for law abiding citizens”.
8. I Stand with Emma
Emma González delivered an emotional, powerful speech in Washington during the March for Our Lives rally, along with a moment of silence that lasted for four minutes and 26 seconds. González has been one of the leading voices for gun control after she survived the Parkland shooting. She gained followers for her powerful approach towards encouraging the younger generation to use their voice for change.
9. Guns Kill
The debate on guns is a sensitive topic, but it is impossible to deny the fact that guns kill people, which many politicians attempt to overlook. The flowers shooting out of the gun instead of a bullet is a powerful statement calling for peace.
10. Trump vs. Batman
First spotted in downtown Detroit, the sign showcases Trump being slapped by Batman as Trump attempts to diminish the severity of the issue at hand: gun violence. While in office, Trump has been sending thoughts and prayers to those affected by mass shootings, yet refuses to implement policies to make acquiring a gun harder, which in turn would prevent future massacres. Public pressure will surely result in change, thus signifying the importance of the sign.
11. Straight A’s Not AK’s
This poster from Cincinnati, Ohio showcased the importance of student’s education over loose gun laws. The younger population should be focused on achieving good grades instead of fearing an attack at their school, which is taught to be a safe space for them to learn. Nothing has been done to enforce the idea of a safe school, as seen with the multiple school shootings that occurred in the past decade. To be blunt, good grades should be easier to obtain than a semi-automatic weapon.