Thousands gather for March for Our Lives rally

Parkland students and alumni gathered behind the Capitol
for the rally Saturday. (Photo: Nia Muldrow) 

Thousands of people flooded the lawn of Florida’s historic Capitol in support of the March for Our Lives rally on Saturday. The rally followed the mass shooing that happened on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, and it was one of hundreds taking place across the country on Saturday.

Protestors began at Florida State’s Westcott Building and marched to the state capital.

This rally was organized by four Florida State University students with the help of Moms Demand Action. MDA believes common sense solutions can help decrease the epidemic of gun violence that kills so many of America’s children and loved ones every day.

There were many students, Parkland students and alumni, advocates and public officials. These people voiced their concerns and shared their stories. Many thought-provoking signs were present during the rally. Some of the speakers either ended or began with a chant that will be remembered.

“What do we want? Gun control. When do we want it? NOW!”

“Enough is enough!”

Signs stating that “NRA is evil,” “Students demand action,” and “Protect our kids and not your guns,” were plentiful at the rally.

Samantha Rios, a student at Chiles High School, said, “Hopefully by all of this action happening that Congress will actually make change.”

Protestors had a lot to say but only few could publicly voice it to express their hurt.

“I hope this march encourages civic participation and increases voter turnout among young Americans,” said Ben Stults, a Tallahassee resident.

Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is running for governor, was one of the speakers on Saturday. He told the crowd that this rally is what democracy looks like and that this is how to take a step toward change within our government.

“Democracy looks like in November, the folks right under the sound of my voice and the folks all across the state are going to send an unapologetic message to the people behind me in this building and the building behind that, that if they stand in the way of common sense gun reform that we will vote them out,” Gillum said.

After the rally, many felt somewhat accomplished especially after seeing some public officials advocating for the exact same thing that they want: gun control and a ban on assault weapons.