On President’s Day, several teenagers staged a protest to call for better gun reform in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida last week.

A group called Teens for Gun Reform had asked for 17 volunteers to lie down outside the White House for three minutes, the amount of time that Nikolas Cruz spent shooting at students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But while they had originally asked for 17 people to represent the 17 people killed in the shooting, over a hundred people responded to the call for action.

“The two of us have organized this protest in solidarity with all of those who were affected by the tragic school shooting in Florida last week,” Eleanor Nuechterlein and Whitney Bowen, the teen organizers, said in a statement, according to CNN. “We call on our national and state legislatures to finally act responsibly and reduce the number of these tragic incidents. It’s essential that we all feel safe in our classrooms.”

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The two teenagers used Facebook to organize the protest and have called on others to do more than offer thoughts and prayers after the shooting.

“The ‘lie-in’ itself was powerful, and we are so appreciative of the protesters, friends and media who came,” Bowen said. “We hope that the coverage of today’s event will help promote much-needed change. In the end, this is only the start. We are so inspired by the brave students from Parkland in the wake of this atrocity, and hope that legislators will begin to hear and act upon the voices of our generation.”

A new generation takes on gun control

Rep. Don Beyer, a Democrat from Virginia, attended the event and noted how impressed he was that young people are leading the political charge in the wake the deadly rampage by Nikolas Cruz.

“I was very proud of them,” Beyer said. “The ground was cold and wet. This is a holiday. But, yeah, they’re being politically active.”

“Historically, it’s the old people that participate in the elections and do all the volunteering, so this was great. And hopefully it portends a sea change in our attitude toward gun safety legislation.”

Across the country students are stepping to the forefront of the gun control debate by scheduling school walkouts and a march in Washington.

The Women’s March EMPOWER branch will kick things off with a call for “students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies” to take part in a walkout on March 14. Those participating are encouraged to walk out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes (one minute for each life lost in the massacre), according to NBC News.

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Shooter’s racist views

According to both the Associated Press and ABC News, Nikolas Cruz was part of a group called the Republic of Florida, which wants to create a white-only state in Florida.

Jordan Jereb, the leader of the group, told the AP that Cruz “acted on his own behalf of what he just did and he’s solely responsible for what he just did.”

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Jereb also said that while Cruz was a part of the group, he did not know him personally.

The group describes itself as a “white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics” and holds paramilitary drills, which Cruz attended in Tallahassee.

According to NBC News, Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and is looking to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of life without parole.