Gun violence

Boston March for Our Lives Event One of Many Planned Across Country Saturday

There are hundreds of local March for Our Lives events protesting gun violence and calling for better gun policy planned across the country.

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Thousands of people are expected to gather for events across Massachusetts and the rest of the country Saturday to demand stronger gun control laws in the wake of continued mass shootings across the country.

The first March for Our Lives happened in 2018 in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

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Justin Meszler was in the 8th grade that year and was one of thousands of people who came together on the Boston Common after the Parkland school shooting.

"For as long as I can remember we’ve had active shooting drills at school," Meszler said. "We are the school shooting generation."

Now, Meszler is one of the organizers of this year's rally in Boston. He and other organizers say while they are moved to act because of tragedy, they are motivated by hope for change.

"We truly believe though that this time is different, that this time can be different because it must be," he added. "And my generation the generation that has grown up with all of this is growing older and we're becoming eligible to vote."

They are calling for a national ban on assault rifles, expanding background checks, raising the minimum age to buy a gun to 21, and Red Flag laws. On the state level, they are supporting legislation targeting the source of guns used in crime and manufacturers of banned weapons.

"It's not as hopeless as people think. And it's not as polarizing as people think," said Ari Kane, another student organizer who says they can't do it alone. "We can come together and make change."

"We sort of have this idea in our heads that it's us against people with guns or all guns are bad. But there are people who we like to think are on the other side of the aisle, or what have you, that are actually wanting to be part of our movement and by including them is how we win," Kane added.

This year's events will follow the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and another at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

There are hundreds of local marches planned across the country. The Boston event will take place at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Some of the organizations that will be involved Saturday include the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Louis D. Brown Institute -- talking not only about mass shootings but gun violence that affects communities every day.

The first March for Our Lives was in 2018 in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The 2022 events will follow the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and another at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

Ahead of Saturday's events, students at Boston Latin rallied against gun violence in the form of a walkout organized by ninth-grader Hannah Stoll.

'Keep people thinking about gun violence and how we can end it that’s really important," she said.

Students said they’re tired, angry and numb with more than two dozen school shootings this year.

"Everyone has this doomsday mindset sometimes and we’re trying to pull people out of that to try and make change," Romilda Miranda said.

Charlotte Vincent and Jaylin Gemmel, who are with March for Our Lives, point out that even though there hasn't been a mass shooting in Massachusetts recently, there are still daily shootings happening on the streets.

Jim Wallace of the Gun Owners Action League said proposed restrictions are all smoke and mirrors, urging lawmakers to focus the real problem: criminals and people with mental illness.

"What I see Congress once again doing is just making restrictions on lawful people and leaving the dangerous people to walk amongst us," he said.

Some of the things Congress is considering include background checks, raising the age to buy a semiautomatic weapon to 21, banning high capacity magazines and instituting Red Flag requirements.

Other area March for Our Lives Events

March For Our Lives Salem, Mass.
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES
June 11, 2022 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
 TBD, Salem, MA 01970

March For Our Lives - Andover, Mass.
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES
June 11, 2022 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
 Shawsheen Square, 14 York St, Andover, MA 01810
https://www.mobilize.us/indivisiblegreaterandover/event/467190/

March For Our Lives Haverhill, Mass.
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES
June 11, 2022 10:30 a.m. -  noon
Whites Corner, Corner Of Water & Main St, Haverhill, MA 01830
https://facebook.com/events/s/march-for-our-lives/541994030710632/

March For Our Lives Providence, Rhode Island
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES
June 11, 2022 noon – 2 p.m.
 RI State House, 82 Smith St, Providence, RI 02903
https://www.ricagv.org/registration

March For Our Lives Wareham, Mass.
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES
June 11, 2022 noon – 2 p.m.
 Wareham Memorial Town Hall, 54 Marion Rd, Wareham, MA 02571
https://www.facebook.com/events/1090025668220292/ or https://fb.me/e/1Ca2Nidaa

March For Our Lives Nashua, New Hampshire
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES
June 11, 2022 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Nashua, NH 03060
facebook.com/events/1034177387483421/ Meeting at 12:45/1 at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Nashua Marching from there and reaching at around 1:30 at GREELY PARK in Nashua where there will be speeches.

MARCH FOR OUR LIVES
June 11, 2022 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Ipswich Center Green, 36 S Main St, Ipswich, MA 01938
https://meetu.ps/e/L5tHJ/xsglp/i

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