Students speak out.

More than 185,000 students from 1,650 schools across the country participated in #NationalSchoolWalkout Wednesday, a 17-minute protest in favor of gun control legislation. 

Students began the walkout at 10:00 a.m. ET. 

The movement towards gun control has gained steam since Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland Florida in February. 

The incident sparked a new round of debate about gun control legislation and led retailers like Walmart Inc. (WMT - Get Report) and Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS - Get Report) to change their own gun policies, raising the necessary age for the sale of firearms to 21 from 18.

#NationalWalkoutDay marching right now! A lot of us wearing orange and orange bracelets to represent the movement! #ENOUGH #NeverAgain @Emma4Change @kerrywashington

— ✨ (@Ogfhere) March 14, 2018

#NationalWalkoutDay all the way from Sarasota High ❤️

— CHICABANDZ�� (@chicabandz) March 14, 2018

#NationalWalkoutDay linking arms all around our school for 17 minutes

— Fatima�� (@Fatimi_Pena2) March 14, 2018

right side of history #NationalWalkoutDay

— paige green (@cxpturepaige) March 14, 2018

The National Rifle Association has drawn much of the public's ire since the shooting, and it has taken to televised town halls and video messaging to defend its organization and propose ways to curb gun violence while limiting changes to gun legislation. 

Let's work together to secure our schools and stop school violence. We protect our banks, our sports stadiums and our government buildings better than we protect our schools. That must change. #StopSchoolViolenceAct #DefendTheSecond #NRA

— NRA (@NRA) March 14, 2018

Pro-gun advocates also took to social media to give their opinion on the protests.

Students are walking out of their classrooms to protest against the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution. I guess these schools didn't teach these kids the importance of liberty and our right to defend ourselves. #NationalWalkoutDay

— Makada ���� (@_Makada_) March 14, 2018

Using children as political pawns is disgusting liberal indoctrination at its most blatant! #NationalWalkoutDay

— PolitiDiva™ (@realPolitiDiva) March 14, 2018

Viacom-owned (VIA - Get Report) networks BET, MTV and Nickelodeon, all channels aimed at younger viewers, went dark during the protest in a show of solidarity.

My children were watching a show when it suddenly stopped and this showed up #NationalWalkoutDay

— Caitlyn (@caitlynroseb) March 14, 2018