Huge crowds gather for rally against gun violence in nation's capital

Students in Brooklyn protest gun violence on eve of March for Our Lives

These laws are much less stringent in several other states, including Florida, as well as at the federal level.

Students from Excel Academy in Baltimore were ready Saturday morning to send a message in Washington about gun violence, which has claimed the lives of seven of their classmates since previous year.

Many crowded into downtown early Saturday morning to stake out places at what promises to be less a march than a standing-room-only rally, with 20 speakers - all of them children or teenagers - and performances by celebrities including Ariana Grande, Common, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, Vic Mensa, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt.

A day before a national rally in D.C., Rodgers called on his fellow students to walk out of school to send a message. I am writing this to honor my friends who are not here with us today, to share their stories, and to ask politicians for change.

Surrey public school teacher Annie O'Hana is one of the organizers, and said she's expecting hundreds of students to attend, including about 30 from her own school. "We had an active shooter situation where the principal was shot. And I feel like I made a difference when I was here in December". The Morristown rally begins at 11 Morristown Town Hall, 200 South St.

U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Melrose, meanwhile, joined protesters at the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C. Oakland demonstrators plan to head from Frank H. Ogawa Plaza afterward to the BART station and San Francisco for the demonstration there in the afternoon.

Gun violence has been a topic of conversation-and protest-among many Madison community members, students and borough officials.

On the other side of the debate, gun rights advocates cite constitutional guarantees of the right to bear arms.

The March for Our Lives was planned in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, when a man with a semi-automatic rifle killed 14 students and three staff members. Three survivors of the February 14 shooting joined a couple hundred others for a similar demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel on Friday. Also the Charleston church shooting in which gunman Dylan Roof, who killed nine people in June of 2015, legally purchased a handgun despite having a misdemeanor drug charge which should have kept him from obtaining the firearm.

Organizers of Saturday's nationwide demonstrations have urged the reinstatement of a national ban on military-style semiautomatic "assault weapons" and high-capacity ammunition magazines as well as background checks for all gun sales. "Either Congress is going to get something done or we will vote them out".

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and U.S. Sen. Mitchell addressed the group once they made it to their destination.

Check back for updates.



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