WASHINGTON – A day before the March for our Lives, students from across the country joined Friday morning with Democratic lawmakers and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in a push for action on guns.
"To you the National Rifle Association for caring more about your guns than our lives, enough is enough. To you the politicians of Washington for not hearing our cries for justice, enough is enough," said Demitri Hoth, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who called out Sen. Marco Rubio and President Donald Trump.
"Students and parents of America unite. Use your voices, they are powerful, they are worthy. Speak up and you will be heard," Hoth said. "America we are your future, why won't you protect us?"
School safety legislation and a modest background check measure were included in the spending bill Congress just approved but many activists say more needs to be done. They want universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons.
Sen. Bill Nelson conceded that the political climate remains a big challenge — members of his own party do not go as far on guns — but the Florida Democrat and others say the outpouring of young voices can be a force for change.
"In the last month, we've seen students rise up live we've never seen before. Yes, in Florida but in places like North Dakota and in Minnesota and in Arizona – all over this nation," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. "What they are asking for is pretty simple. And when kids ask it, it's harder to say no."