Hundreds attend 'March for Our Lives' in Sioux Falls

Published: Mar. 24, 2018 at 10:51 PM CDT
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March for Our Lives rallies were held around the globe Saturday as students, parents, teachers, celebrities and more call for action to help bring an end to gun violence.

“Today we take to the streets in over 800 marches around the globe and demand common sense gun laws, today is the beginning of a bright new future for our country, and if you think today is good, just wait for tomorrow," Parkland high school student Cameron Kasky said.

The March for Our Lives was organized by students from Parkland Florida where a school shooting took the lives of 17 people last month. But marchers said this movement is about all gun violence happening in our nation.

Hundreds of people also marched through the snow in downtown Sioux Falls in a last minute march organized by a Lincoln High School student earlier this week.

“Not one child should feel scared to go to such an important place,” Student speakers said at the Sioux Falls rally Saturday.

The group of students and supporters gathered outside Carnegie Hall Saturday morning, calling on lawmakers to help stop the violence.

“I feel we all have the right to come home safe from school every day,” Lincoln High School Student Chloe Ross said. “Honestly I think it’s a bit ridiculous, there's children out here dying and people really aren't taking it that seriously.”

“We're not all just going to sit down and just fear for our lives, we're going to do something about it, we're going to make change happen, we need to make sure our government doesn't forget about this,” 17-year-old Courtney Merchant said.

Merchant, the Lincoln High School student who organized the local march, said the show of support in Sioux Falls reveals that students and adults alike want change.

“It means there is hope, that this violence that has become so common may end some day and that our government will finally do something about it,” Merchant said.

“I think there are a lot of common sense solutions we can take on this issue, it’s not a matter of no gun laws or ban the second amendment, there's a lot of middle ground and I think we can achieve a lot of progress if we work for those common lines and make everyone safer,” Lincoln High School Student Maximilian Peters said.

Many of these student activist said they’re proud of their peers for taking a stand.

“I’m so proud of my generation it’s crazy,” Lincoln High School Student Alannah Rien said.

“We just want to see change,” Ross said.

Many of the marchers in Sioux Falls and around the nation said they're not looking for a ban on guns, but what they call common sense regulations on military grade weapons frequently used in mass shootings.

Former President Barack Obama tweeted his support for the March for Our Lives demonstrations Saturday. He wrote “Michelle and I are so inspired by all the young people who made today's marches happen. Keep at it. You're leading us forward. Nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change."

On the other side of the issue, the National Rifle Association took to social media in response to the March for Our Lives movement. The NRA said the protests are organized by, "Hollywood elites" and "gun-hating billionaires." The posting accused those billionaires and elites of manipulating the youth protesters in an effort to "destroy the second amendment."