From Liberty City To Parkland, Children And Teens Are Fed Up With Gun Violence

Feb 20, 2018

In South Florida, it's happened before -- young people rallying and raising their voices against gun violence.

About a dozen elementary school kids took to the streets inside the Liberty Square housing projects in April 2016 chanting, " We don't want to die; stop shooting. We don't want to die; stop shooting."

Read more: Anguish and Activism - Listen To The Students of Stoneman Douglas High

Their demand at the impromptu protest nearly two years ago was straightforward: They wanted to be able to play outside without fearing they might get shot. 

Kalaila Rollins, then a fourth-grader, said,  "[What] I want to happen is that kids can come outside without even having to hear gunshots or be scared of where they’re living. "

This past week, the teenagers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School led protests and vigils after one of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S.  schools—17 killed

They want to be able to go to school without the fear of being gunned down.

Young people took the adults and politicians to task for not doing anything to stop mass shootings. They chanted, "We are not responsible. We are not responsible. You are responsible. You are responsible."

"Children bleeding out on school floors in previous years and months and days has not been enough for politicians to take action and say, 'This is not OK,' " said David Hogg, a student at Stoneman Douglas. "So that’s why we the students have to stand up and do this."

Mass shootings and the community-level gun violence in places like Miami are not the same, but both groups of young people — the elementary kids in Miami and the teens in Parkland— are fed up.

They want adults to hear them and do something about the bloodshed that has stained their innocence.

Will the grown-ups listen?