Hundreds of thousands of Americans set to march for tighter gun laws

FILE - Students at Roosevelt High School take part in a protest against gun violence Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Seattle. Politicians in Washington state are joining students who walked out of class to protest against gun violence. It was part of a nationwide school walkout that calls for stricter gun laws following the massacre of 17 people at a Florida high school. (AP Photo/Manuel Valdes)

Vastavam web: Hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to rally nationwide on Saturday for tighter gun laws in “March For Our Lives” protests led by survivors of the Florida school massacre, which reiginited public anger over mass shootings.Students from the Parkland, Florida, high school where 17 students and staff were killed on Feb. 14 will be among the 500,000 people organizers say could rally on Pennsylvania Avenue near the Capitol in Washington.

“This issue is going to turn into the No. 1 issue in this country. I know that’s not only what I want, but I know it’s what you guys want,” Alfonso Calderon, a junior at the Florida school, told Washington students at a pre-march event on Thursday.The Washington rally is among more than 800 events scheduled worldwide, with U.S. demonstrations set from San Clemente, California, to New York and Parkland, according to gun-control group Everytown For Gun Safety.

“Trainwreck” star Amy Schumer is set to appear at the Los Angeles rally. Actor George Clooney and his human rights attorney wife have donated $500,000 and said they would be at the Washington rally.Organizers want Congress, many of whose members are up for re-election this year, to ban the sale of assault weapons like the one used in the Florida rampage and to tighten background checks for gun buyers. On the other side of the debate, gun rights advocates cite constitutional guarantees of the right to bear arms.

David Hogg, a senior at Stoneman Douglas, said the protests were a way for young Americans to show their opposition to the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun lobby.“We’re asking people (to) put the USA over the NRA,” he said at the Thursday event in Washington.