Make no mistake about it—the hundreds of thousands of young people in Los Angeles, San Francisco and 800 cities across the nation and world who joined in the March for Our Lives laid down a gauntlet which cannot be ignored.

In Washington, D.C where a rally comparable in size to the Civil Rights Marches and Vietnam War protests generations ago, the thunderous cries, “Never Again”, were overshadowed only by six minutes and thirty seconds of total silence—enabling the audience to experience the passage of time it required the gunman in Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida to kill 17 students and staff.

The Florida tragedy is ground zero.

But it may have generated a national awakening the likes of which has not been seen since the Rev. Martin Luther King gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in our nation’s capital 55 years ago.

The crowd estimate just in Washington (and this is not fake news) was 800,000. Californians came out in force.

The outpouring of young people representative of every color, faith, age group, background and neighborhood in the country had one message for those in power unwilling to make change: “Get ready to be voted out.”

Since the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado 18 years ago where 14 were killed including the shooters, there has been near deafening silence from lawmakers who have final say on what to do about the epidemic of violence.

The big question now is whether this one-day clarion call for change and the impressive energy on display will translate into votes at the polls?

Have these articulate and impassioned youth leaders and their massive number of followers launched a movement that has staying power and will transform the gun safety discussion and lead to dramatic changes which have run up year after year into implacable resistance?

Are we seeing a passing convulsion or is this the launching of a genuine youth revolution that could alter the political map?

And there are other questions:

Will enough of them be registered and voting to make a difference?

Is this a turning point that will have impacts stretching even into regions of the nation where gun rights are practically sacred?

Not a single member of California’s or the nation’s GOP House delegation has shown the mettle to vote for tougher gun reforms, for universal background checks, for stricter registration laws and for the outlawing of military assault weapons.

The reasons are obvious: the NRA and its allies are prepared to open their treasuries with little hesitation for any politicians who will sing their tune.

There are 350 million guns somewhere out there in America. Many may never be employed in the performance of crimes. But it is difficult to refute the argument that less of them could help decrease the dangers.

Tell that to the parents and relatives of victims of mass shootings at the hands of violent felons and deranged individuals with illegal handguns who found ways around licensing regulations if they are truly enforced.

Many California legislators have been the recipients of continuing largesse from the all-powerful NRA which has a choke hold on numerous members of Congress.

The President of the United States who enjoys the group’s strong backing has also been impervious to the outcries for stricter tougher gun laws, agreeing to repeal Obama-era regulations.

Californians across the political spectrum have shown far more receptivity to change, and have resisted the staunch Second Amendment advocates who argue that gun ownership is the only way citizens can be made safe.

Many law-abiding gun owners—and surely there are thousands— are caught in the cross-fire between those who long ago lost confidence in any solution but maximum gun elimination and others who consider all gun regulations a violation of their freedom.

This only sets up a dangerous choice: Either protect your rights and remain safe or surrender them and rely on a system of laws that cannot be trusted.

That is an approach in third world countries that has often led to dictatorship and anarchy.

The potent NRA lobby puts gun freedom over laws accusing any who object to its preachings of being unpatriotic and risking the nation’s future.

The millions of students who have taken to the streets quickly denounce such characterizations and are not buying these threatening notions that violence can be best averted by arming teachers and, if need be, the entire citizenry.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, arguably the most ardent champion of gun reforms in the Senate, has reintroduced legislation which has failed many times before to outlaw military assault weapons—the so-called AR 15s.

An indefatigable fighter for the causes she believes in, the senator is also a realist. “I must have 60 votes to get this done, but I have not been able to get a single Republican to join me.”

Feinstein is well ahead in the polls to win an unprecedented fifth term which would make her the longest serving senator in California history.

If the veteran lawmaker can get the anti-gun youth protesters behind her, they could help propel her to victory.

The momentum created by these dramatic events if it can be sustained, is certain not to be lost on other statewide candidates and across the nation.