After the mass shooting in a Broward County high school that killed 17 children and adults, marches across the country have been organized to “stand up for fallen children due to senseless gun violence.” The events are all scheduled for March 24 to support the main March For Our Lives happening in Washington DC. There's also a planned march in downtown Fort Myers.
Carling Witt, 20, is a student at Florida Southwestern State College, studying music therapy and special needs education. She’s also the organizer of the march in Fort Myers. Witt says she was at the 2015 Zombicon event in downtown when a shooter killed one and injured five others.
"That affected me so much. And then in my home town in Maryland there was a mall shooting right there. And when I heard that this happened and I heard that people were actually standing up for it, I wanted to be a part of it. I just didn’t know how," says Witt.
Then the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland happened on Valentine’s Day, taking the lives of 17 people. And the teenaged survivors of that school are marching in the nation’s capital, protesting for stricter gun laws to prevent these mass shootings.
"It's the most inspiring thing that I’ve seen happen in almost all of my years of being alive," says Witt. "It was terrifying for me being 20 saying, ‘Oh, I’m gonna start this little branch of this revolution that's happening.’ I can’t even imagine how terrifying it would be for somebody even a little bit younger than I am saying this needs to stop and we're gonna do something about it. And to see that happening gives me a lot of hope for our future and for the future of our country and our communities and our schools."
The local March for Our Lives is planned for March 24 in Centennial Park. The details are still being worked out but updates on the event are on their Facebook page: March for Our Lives SWFL.