When the clock struck noon on Saturday, thousands of students and other activists stepped off from Central Bucks High School West to march to the Bucks County Administration Building in Doylestown in support of gun control.
The march, which spanned the .6 miles from the high school to the courthouse, was accompanied by constant chants from students marching. At the end of the march, supporters crammed the road in front of and the lawn outside the county building.
“Enough is enough,” read a sign carried by a young man.
“We need safe schools,” another sign said.
Students from Central Bucks East and West, Council Rock South, Lenape, and Pennridge high schools spoke to the assembled crowd after the march portion of the programming concluded. Some students told personal stories while others led chants and read slam poetry. Each reminder of the upcoming election and the declaration that young people would vote in large numbers met with uproars of applause.
“This march is not the end,” said one of the speakers at the beginning of the program.
The progress of the movement to enact “common sense” gun regulations will continue well after the festivities of Saturday are in the past, speakers added.
“We protest today because these statistics are too horrific to stay a reality,” said a freshman from Lenape High School. “It should not matter what race, religion or gender you are – a shooter is a shooter.”
Student speakers called for politicians to focus on keeping schools safe. Some talked about banning large rifles and making the background check system better.
The march coincided with hundreds of similar rallies across the country and globe. In Washington D.C., it was estimated by organizers that 800,000 people descended on the capital city for the March For Our Lives, according to USA Today.
Officials in Doylestown estimated that about 3,000 people came out for march. The number makes it one of the largest demonstrations in recent Bucks County history.
While students ran the show, adults and older residents in the area were out in full force supporting the students. All three Democratic congressional candidates also were in attendance. The march and speeches were planned by Bucks Students Demand Action, which is made up of high schoolers from throughout Bucks County.
The March For Our Lives was inspired by the tragic shooting deaths of 17 students as staff members mid-February at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Students across the country has since become active in calling for gun law reforms to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.
President Donald Trump’s White House praised the Saturday demonstrations and thanked the “many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.” They also called for banning bump stocks, enacting the STOP School Violence Act, increasing training for stakeholders, and improving the background check process.