The student-driven movement to rewrite US gun laws showed no sign of waning a week after a gunman killed 17 people at a Florida school, with politicians yielding to pressure to respond.
The Reverend Bernice King, daughter of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, said that as the 50th anniversary of her father’s assassination approaches, she hopes we can “look toward solutions as these young people are forcing us to have the conversations, bipartisan conversations”.
Speaking at The King Centre in Atlanta, Ms King said tragedy “gives us an opportunity to lay aside for a moment our differences and really look at how we can come together as humanity and move forward with these injustices and these evils that continue to beset us”.
The survivors of the February 14 shooting at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School have vowed to continue their activism, including a “March for Our Lives” in Washington next month, which Ms King says she will attend.
At the funeral for football coach Aaron Feis, retired school groundsmen Dave Tagliavia said he thinks the students mean what they say and will not back down. “I think if changes are going to be made, these kids are going to do it. They’ve got fire in their eyes,” he said.
A day after an emotional meeting with survivors and their families, President Donald Trump tweeted his strongest stance yet on gun control. He said he would endorse strengthening background checks, banning “bump stock” style devices and raising the minimum age to 21 for buying certain rifles.
At a conference of conservative activists near Washington, Vice President Mike Pence said the administration would make school safety “our top national priority” after the shooting at the school in Parkland, Florida.
Calling school shootings “evil in our time”, Mr Pence exhorted those in positions of authority “to find a way to come together with American solutions”.