Hundreds of thousands of organizers and activists are expected to participate in the March for Our Lives on Saturday after a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida reinvigorated the national conversation surrounding gun control.
On February 14, Nikolas Cruz opened fire on classrooms at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, leaving 17 dead and 14 others injured. The shooting was reportedly one of more than 40 "active shooter" situations recorded in U.S. schools since 2000, and Florida students recovering after the tragedy were quick to demand change from local and national lawmakers alike.
"We will not be silenced," shooting survivor Alfonso Calderon said in the day's following the horror that unfolded at his school. "It has gone on long enough that we, just because we are kids, we are not allowed to understand. But trust me, I understand."
According to the official march website, some 838 events will be taking place around the world in conjunction with March for Our Lives efforts — with a central rally taking place in Washington D.C. Other cities including New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles are also scheduled to host events.
RELATED: A look back at the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
"March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar," the movement's mission statement reads. "In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now."
In the aftermath of the Parkland high school tragedy, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a gun safety bill last week that raised the legal age for purchasing firearms and imposed a waiting period on all gun sales. The National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida just minutes after the bill was signed, saying the law's provision raising the legal purchasing age to 21 violates the 2nd Amendment.
"You’re gonna be smeared in the textbooks. Your legacy is gone," student activist and leader David Hogg told TIME recently of the NRA. "If you don’t stand up with us now, you’ll be standing against us."