President Trump took the scenic route after spending Saturday at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Fla., ensuring he didn’t pass any demonstrators calling for stronger gun laws as part of the nationwide March for Our Lives.
Scores of people had lined the motorcade’s usual path, which has been well-traveled by the president as he shuttles between his Mar-a-Lago estate and the Trump International Golf Club during weekend visits here. They held signs blasting the National Rifle Assn. and supporting a ban on assault weapons.
But returning to Mar-a-Lago from the club on Saturday afternoon, Trump’s motorcade took a longer route, crossing a different bridge into Palm Beach and then driving down Ocean Boulevard. There were striking views of the blue water and palatial estates, but no protesters could be spotted.
Tears rolled down Emma Gonzalez’s face as she stood in silence.
Gonzalez had begun timing six minutes and 20 seconds — the time it took a gunman to kill 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where she is a student. For more than four of those minutes, she stopped speaking as a crowd of hundreds of thousands looked on.
“Never again!” chants rang as Gonzalez stood at the podium. “Everyone in the Douglas community was forever altered,” Gonzalez said earlier in her speech, naming each of the students killed in the mass shooting.
Stephanie Dobyns, a survivor of the mass shooting last fall in Las Vegas, spoke at the March for Our Lives rally Saturday at Las Vegas City Hall. She described how she went to buy a bulletproof vest from a store in Texas, and explained to the salesclerk that she wanted it to protect her while she spoke at the gun-control march.
“Do you know what he said?” Dobyns asked.
“What did he say?” a lone voice yelled from the crowd. She paused again.
"Welcome to the revolution," Cameron Kasky, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told the crowd in Washington. "We are the change .… Represent us or get out."
Kasky was among a number of students from the school in Parkland, Fla., to speak to the hundreds of thousands of marchers who gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue near the base of Capitol Hill on Saturday to protest U.S. gun laws with chants of “Vote them out!”
He and other Stoneman Douglas students said their goal is a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The AR-15, the semiautomatic rifle used to kill 17 people at the high school, is one of the most popular guns on the market and has been used in a series of mass shootings.
Naomi Wadler has worked to raise awareness of the African American girls and women who have been victims of gun violence but overlooked in the national conversation.
“I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper,” said Naomi, 11, at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C.
Naomi helped organize a walkout at George Mason Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., on March 14 in protest of gun violence.