Students march on capital for gun control


Students and protesters gather at the State Capital

Emma Shafer, Staff Writer

SPRINGFIELD – On Saturday, March 24th, around 400 people gathered in Springfield outside of the Capitol to advocate for stronger gun control. Called the March for Our Lives, it was entirely student-led and organized; from the protesting permits to the speeches, poems, and songs. Despite the 40 degree weather and freezing rain, people continued to protest and make their voices heard.

The March for Our Lives was born in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The shooter in had bought a AR 15 legally in Florida, without a waiting period, fingerprints, or a special permit. All he had to do was pass a simple background check that did not look at his disciplinary records in school, or notice the fact that he was on the FBI watch list. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were infuriated how many of their friends and family members had died because an unstable man was able to get a gun, and decided to create a nationwide March to advocate for common sense gun legislation. This includes closing the loopholes in background checks and making them universal, funding gun violence research, and a ban on assault weapons.

Around the country, people have been horrified how easily the shooter was able to access an assault weapon that was used to kill 17 people and injure an additional 15. The support for the March for Our Lives around the country was drawn from these adults, students, and children alike. The March was characterized by hashtags like #enough and #notonemore.

The March for Our Lives in Springfield was organized by students from Springfield High School and Glenwood, with Action Illinois helping with costs associated with the March, and guidance. Action Illinois has previously organized the Women’s Marches that took place in January 2017 and 2018.

Students read poems, speeches, and the music was provided by students from Glenwood.  The Democratic Nominee for the 13th Congressional District, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, also spoke.

A Springfield chapter for Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was also announced at the March. Anyone who is interested in getting involved can email [email protected].

Emma Shafer can be reached at [email protected]