Over 800 cities participated across the nation with at least seven scheduled for Missouri.
Thousands “marched for their lives” at Park Central Square in Springfield Saturday.
Emotions were high at the rally, with both sides voicing their opinions on gun control.
“The United States has far more child gun deaths than any other high-income nation,” said a speaker.
“Anything that threatens the basic fundamental right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said a speaker, “including the rampant proliferation of military-style assault weapons, should never be valued more than the lives of human beings.”
“We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of firing an assault rifle to save the lives of students,” said another speaker, “we cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or a text that never comes.”
Some in the crowd wondered why lawmakers haven’t stepped in sooner.
“I don’t know why our government is prioritizing guns over people when this is the only country in the world where this happens on a regular basis,” said Olivia Skeams, a participant.
On the other hand, some held a different view on gun control.
“If something ever was to happen, I know that the gun, it can like help us with robberies and stuff. And then like it can protect us,” said Kathryn Boyet.
“A gun ain’t gonna get up by itself. I mean somebody’s gotta be responsible to pull the trigger. It’s a choice in a person’s mind to make it,” said Dominic Allen.
It wasn’t just students and families attending the march.
A Greene County black lives matter organizer said they attended because gun violence affects them directly.
“Guns kill about 10 times more black children than they do white children each year. This issue of gun violence, the NRA, and their harmful policies is something that black people have been pounding the drum about a long time,” said Joshua Rivera, an organizer.
And Moms Demand Action say they are here as one of the biggest support groups of this movement.
“Fighting the dangerous agenda of the NRA and the gun lobby,” said a Mom’s Demand Action speaker.
Overall, there was one unified message coming from this impassioned crowd. Age is irrelevant to this movement or any movement destined for change.
“We would not be so shocked at the recent action of teenagers if we did not spend so much time depicting them as one dimensional, selfish, and vacant caricatures of humans that we never were. Those defending the second amendment are very scared of teenagers armed only with the first,” said a speaker.
“Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel prize at the age of 17,” said another speaker.
“It was informed. It was nuanced, it was civil, it was well researched, and it was passionate,” said Charles Taylor, a participant, “those of us of a certain age, we got called out. No more excuses, it’s time to do something,” said Charles Taylor, a participant.
Organizers said they will continue making their voices heard until change happens.
Missourinet media partner KOLR-TV provided this story