Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School chant at the...

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School chant at the March for Our Lives rally on March 24, 2018, in Washington. More than 800 March for Our Lives events, organized by survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, took place around the world. Credit: Getty Images / Mark Wilson

The poignant signs have been put away for now. Tired feet and voices have been rested. This weekend’s massive marches in support of gun control have sent their message.

But the story of a new generation’s peaceful civic engagement is still unfolding. In a time of mistrust toward many of the nation’s foundational institutions, once again young people are using our fundamental freedoms to assemble and speak to power. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered Saturday, registering their anger about the lack of real gun reform both before and after 17 people were killed at a Florida high school on Feb. 14. It was heartening to watch students flex their political muscles, previewing a vision for the country’s future.

But the marches were also crowded with strollers and baby boomers among a wide coalition of people calling for overdue changes to the nation’s gun laws, indignant that politicians have ignored them for so long.

Some politicians are at least feigning listening. A Justice Department rule proposed last week would ban bump stock accessories that allow for rapid firing of powerful weapons — the kind of rifle used in the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October. That’s far from enough, and many marchers expressed disappointment in the lack of real gun-control measures in the federal budget deal signed last week.

But positive change might be on the horizon, from smart state laws to businesses distancing themselves from guns. Those changes will deepen only if people keep demanding them in the voting booth and in the streets.

This weekend, marchers displayed their commitment, working a time-honored lever of our political system. That’s an element of success already. — The editorial board