America's youth marches against lax gun laws

Roughly five weeks after the shooting spree in a school in Florida, anti-gun marches of historical dimensions are taking place in the US. Across the country hundreds of thousands of predominantly young protesters took to the streets in the "March for Our Lives", chanting "Never again". A new generation is offering hope for the future, commentators write.

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Heti Válasz (HU) /

Generation Z on the rise

The most recent demonstrations clearly show that a new young generation has become politically aware, the weekly paper Heti Válasz writes:

“The so-called Generation Z seems to be more politically active than Generation X. This activism will no doubt also have a lasting impact on public life. At least that's what the current wave of demonstrations across the pond seem to indicate. ... So for that reason it's necessary to take heed of the political activity of Generation Z, because such movements don't stop at the US's borders. ... The message of the young demonstrators in the US is more relevant than ever in many other countries of the world: 'Stop! Enough! The adults have betrayed us. We must take our fate into our own hands!”

Avvenire (IT) /

The new power from below

After the old generation failed to push through a ban on gun possession the young generation will change America, the Catholic daily Avvenire predicts:

“The victims of the massacres at Columbine High School (1999), Virginia Tech (2007) and Sandy Hook Elementary School (2012) were young people. Our fight was in vain. ... Trump even called on teachers to start carrying weapons. So the power from above is no help to us. But now comes a reaction from below, as the rally in Washington shows. What's more important? This rally or a government decree? The rally. Because the participants are young people. Sooner or later they'll replace the older generation of arms advocates. And everything will change.”

Der Standard (AT) /

These students must be taken seriously

The hundreds of thousands of young anti-gun activists who demonstrated on the weekend are a match for the US weapons lobby, Der Standard concludes:

“Angry with politicians who seem to have no antennas for the fears of 'Generation Columbine', they are demanding action. Not just some time soon, but now. They won't be fobbed off with the kind of ban on rapid-fire devices for assault weapons contemplated after the Las Vegas concert shooting. This will be a trial of strength for the NRA. And above all teenagers like Emma González, David Hogg and Cameron Kasky know how to put their emotions into words. Their words are gaining such a strong grip on the nation's collective conscience because they sum up inconvenient truths.”

Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Politicians are starting to understand

Lidové noviny also sees something resembling light at the end of the tunnel:

“America's young people are absolutely furious. And they are following in the footsteps of their parents - or rather, of their grandparents - and organising the biggest protest marches since the Vietnam War. ... The generation that is demonstrating today in America's cities could decide the next elections. Some politicians are starting to take this seriously and are siding with the demonstrators. In Washington too, these developments must not be underestimated. The stance on weapons could easily decide who governs America in a few years' time.”