Hundreds of sign-carrying, chanting protesters converged on Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, demanding tougher background checks and other gun-safety measures following last week's deadly school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people.
"Help us understand!," said 11-year-old Angelenos Sami Brous-Light and Ale Kahn, who spoke out at the Parkland shooting protest put on by Moms Demand Action and Drain the NRA.
About 500 protesters gathered shortly before noon Monday. Many chanted, "Ho, ho, hey, hey, our kids, not the NRA. Others held signs proclaiming, "Our Children Are Counting On You" and other calls to action.
One of Monday's protesters, Samantha Dorf, told The Associated Press she supports the Second Amendment right to bear arms but believes stronger background checks for gun-buyers are needed. The mother of two from Valley Village and member of Moms Demand Action also wants to see tougher laws aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of children.
There was also a vocal teen presence at the protest. "I’m realizing I’m older and I don’t need to be quiet anymore," said 18 year-old Ronit Sholkoff, who is organizing a student walkout at Cleveland High School in Reseda.
"We’re the generation that’s finally going to bring change to this and I’m really confident we’re going to do it," Sholkoff said.
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