"Status Quo Has Failed,' Student Organizer of March For Our Lives LA Says

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Student organizers of the upcoming March For Our Lives LA were joined today by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, a survivor of the Columbine school massacre and the husband of a victim of the 2011 Seal Beach mass shooting to promote the March 24 event aimed at bringing about stricter gun control laws.

The main March For Our Lives event in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of affiliated ones around the country were organized in response to the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead on Feb. 14. The carnage was allegedly carried out by a 19-year-old former student.

``The status quo has failed profoundly and each death that occurs because of gun violence is the result of inaction on the part of our leaders,'' said 21-year-old Gavin Pierce. ``For too long, this has been a discussion, and for too long we have been stuck in this gruesome cycle. Students are marching because they have been failed by older generations.''

Paul Wilson's wife, Christy, was among eight people killed in a massacre at a hair salon in Seal Beach on Oct. 12, 2011, by a gunman who was armed with three handguns. Scott Evans DeKraai, whose victims included his ex- wife, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

``With those weapons, it took less than two minutes to change the course of 26 years of a life that I built,'' Wilson said. ``So for me to be able to stand up here and support them, and begin this journey with them, I am honored to be here today.''

Richard Castaldo was wounded on April 20, 1999, in a mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado that left 13 people dead before the two student shooters took their own lives. Castaldo, who was left paralyzed from the waist down, has spoken out before against gun violence and was featured in the 2002 documentary ``Bowling for Columbine.''

``I was a victim of the Columbine High School shooting, which was just shy of 19 years ago. It doesn't seem that much has changed. If anything it's gotten worse since then,'' Castaldo said.

Feuer spoke at the news conference and later spoke to reporters at his office, where he announced the filing of charges against two Los Angeles parents for allegedly storing their firearms illegally after their children made threats of violence at their schools.

``I want to say to the students who've assembled here how profoundly inspiring you all are,'' Feuer said. ``All of us should be joining together on March 24 for the March For Our Lives. I know I intend to join the students.''

The Los Angeles March For Our Lives LA is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. at Pershing Square in downtown and end at Los Angeles City Hall.

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