On a cold drizzly Washington winter public holiday, much of the city is partying. But a group of teenagers is taking on one of the most entrenched and powerful lobby groups in the US.
Seventeen of them lay on the cold wet ground outside the White House, symbolic of those slain in last week's horrific Florida high school shooting.
Sixteen-year-old Whitney Bowen and her friend formed the group Teens for Gun Reform and organised the protest.
For their generation, any loud noise at a school could be a sign of something much darker than a teenage prank.
"You hear someone drop a book and you hear a loud noise and somewhere in the back of your mind as a 16-year-old hearing about these things you wonder, where's the nearest exit? And do I need to be worried for my safety right now?" she says.
"Which is a horrible way to think but it's the way our society has conditioned us to think."
Whitney brought an American flag and a denim jacket with her message about gun control painted on the back.
She and her teenage friend have just a few painted signs, but their movement is growing in energy and they want to take on the National Rifle Association (NRA) which has long cowed politicians four, and even five, times their age.
"I really hope that this can be the breaking point for events like this and we've seen, Eleanor and I were so inspired by the Parkland, Florida kids speaking out," Whitney says.
"But I really, really hope that this is the time that makes a change because there's so many young people who are the ones in the classrooms who are speaking out about it."
Young people 'taking control'
Anna Harley and Hope Donovan are the same age but say they have been living with the fear of gun violence from an age most Australian primary school students could not fathom.
"I remember Hope and I were in the same fifth grade class when Sandy Hook happened and I remember thinking this would never happen," Anna says.
"It was the first time I'd heard of something like that happening and in a school where people are supposed to feel safe and comforted and the fact that five years later we've seen so many other mass shootings in schools is really uncomforting and really frustrating and I think Hope's right, the NRA really needs to get its act together."
Young people are taking to the streets right across the country and it is expected more will continue in the lead-up to the Florida high school students marching on Washington next year.
"Well, I just think more and more events like this are going to show that we are taking control," Hope says.
Many have tried for gun control before, only to run up against the cold hard realities of the NRA and the Second Amendment.
This generation is not fazed and are fired with determination from now, having almost 20 years of school shootings dating back to 1999.
"Enough is enough, we've had so many mass shooting just this year, I think its 18 and its only February," Hope says.