‘March for Our Lives’ organizers: ‘This is an issue of life and death’

Organizers of an anti-gun violence march expected to draw large numbers of protesters to Washington this weekend told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Friday that their cause is not a partisan issue.

“It’s an issue of life and death,” said Alex Wind, a student who survived the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. “Everyone has their own idea of how this needs to change, but I think we all agree that this needs to change. The mass shooting epidemic we have in this country is terrible.”

Wind and fellow student Emma Gonzalez said the “March for Our Lives” rally is an attempt to sway lawmakers to act to stop future gun violence, as well as an effort to inspire additional marches in other parts of the country.

It has been five weeks since the shooting in Parkland that killed 17 students and teachers.

“Everything on February 14 completely changed who I am,” Wind told Tapper of his experience during the shooting.

Although President Donald Trump and Congress won’t be in Washington for the march, Gonzalez and Wind said they’re not discouraged by that.

“It doesn’t matter who’s going to be there — what matters is that our presence is known,” Wind said. “If they’re not going to be there, we’re still going to march. We’re still going to make our voices heard.”

Gonzalez said this is only the beginning of a movement by students and members of the Parkland community.

“They’re getting a platform of their own,” Gonzalez said. “I know that a lot of them have been talking on Twitter, they’ve been talking to politicians.”