People are out on the streets all over the planet today, marching as part of, or in support of, the student-organized March For Our Lives, which hopes to increase pressure on legislators to enact meaningful gun control regulations in the United States. Some of those people were famous—like Paul McCartney, who was seen marching in New York City today, noting that “One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here,” or Lin-Manuel Miranda, who performed in Washington D.C. this afternoon, alongside Dear Evan Hansen star Ben Platt—but a lot of them were just angry, loud, amazing kids, pissed off at the epidemic of gun violence in America.
Several of those kids gave speeches this afternoon, translating their anger into fiery rhetoric, reminding viewers of the lives lost, and the need for action in a time when school shootings are becoming a weekly occurrence. Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez gave one of the day’s most striking addresses, timing her speech to last the same 6 minutes and 20 seconds as the shooting itself, naming all of her slain schoolmates, and holding a painfully long moment of silence for the slain:
Just as riveting, though—and one of the reason we’re using “kids” to describe today’s speakers, and not just “teens’—was 11-year-old Naomi Wadler, who stood up to name young, unsung, female victims of gun violence like murder victim Hadiya Pendleton, stating, “I am here today to represent and acknowledge all the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper; whose stories don’t lead on the evening news.”
The vibe throughtout the day has been one of righteous anger, along with an undercurrent of “We’re coming for you motherfuckers as soon as we’re able to vote.” It’s stirring and/or terrifying stuff, depending on whether or not you’re Marco Rubio, looking over his election prospects in 2022.