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Students hold rallies in Washington, Florida urging stricter gun controls

Students from Western High School carrying placards, take part in a protest in support of the gun control, following a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Davie, Florida, U.S., February 21, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

American students have staged protests in Washington and in the state of Florida to demand stronger gun laws, challenging politicians they say have failed to protect them.

A group, known as Teens for Gun Reform, had 17 members lie down on Wednesday outside the White House to symbolize the number of people who lost their lives last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 

Dozens were involved in the protest, chanting slogans such as, “We want safe schools!” and carrying signs, including one which said, “Am I next?”

“We have organized this protest in solidarity with all of those who were affected by the horrific school shooting in Florida last Wednesday,“ the organization said in a statement. ”We call on President Trump and leaders from both parties to finally act in the interest of America’s youth and end these tragic mass shootings!“

About 100 students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School walked to Florida's capital city, where the state's legislature on Tuesday rebuffed a bid to bring up a bill to block sales of assault-style rifles.

Other cities in Florida have also been the scene of demonstrations, with students condemning gun violence.

Moreover, Students, teachers, parents and allies around the nation are preparing to “march for their lives” next month to rally for increased gun control and school safety measures.

The Republican-controlled Congress last year revoked Obama-era regulations meant to make it harder for those with severe mental illness to pass FBI background checks for guns, saying the rule deprived the mentally ill of their gun rights.

The developments follow last week’s deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, where former student Nikolas Cruz opened fire, killing 17 people.

It was the second-deadliest shooting at a public school in US history. It was also the 18th school shooting since January 1 in the United States, which loses around 33,000 people to gun violence every year.

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