Protesters cross Brooklyn Bridge in March for Our Lives rally against gun violenceget the free app
NEW YORK -- March for Our Lives demonstrations were held in New York and across the country Saturday. Protesters, angry and tired of mass shootings, say they want change or they will head to the ballot box to create their own.
As CBS2's Dave Carlin reports, demanding stricter gun laws were thousands of demonstrators in New York City, many of them parents, saying enough is enough.
"My kids were the same age as the Sandy Hook kids when Sandy Hook happened," SoHo resident Kat Sosnick said. "Since then, they have been exposed to school shootings on the news and they've had drills at school, and I feel it has really affected their childhood, and I don't want other children to suffer like that."
Saturday's March for Our Lives from Brooklyn over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan comes four years after the organization was founded by teens who survived the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17.
Organizers said more than 150 state laws were passed since the group's last march, but this time they're pushing for federal changes.
"I have a classroom full of kids that I worry about every day, every day. I teach them the second amendment rights, what are rights, how they change, how they're for the times. The kids understand better than our Congress," New York City teacher Eve Creary said.
"In school, we also talk about guns and how they're not OK," 8-year-old Olympia Kriegel said.
"I want her to be safe here in the country. I don't want to have to look over my shoulder when I'm playing with her at a playground," dad Otis Kriegel said.
Marchers made it across the Brooklyn Bridge to Lower Manhattan, where they stopped to listen to a series of speeches.
"We are building a movement that is a grassroots movement to eviscerate gun violence," one speaker said.
"Enough analysis. We've analyzed it to the point of paralysis," New York Attorney General Letitia James said.
Wednesday, the House passed a gun control bill that would raise the age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21.
"Too much conversation is on the assault rifle. No, let's zero in on the other part of it, and that is a handgun, and the federal government needs to respond," Mayor Eric Adams said.
Some spectators told CBS2 they see the gun debate differently.
"Well, I'm a lifelong NRA member," Staten Island resident Vladimir Jaffe said. "If you ban the guns, the bad guys will always get the guns."
Event organizers say they count on strong turnout to lift gun laws higher on the federal agenda.
Thousands gather in Washington, D.C., for huge rally
Thousands gathered in the nation's capitol Saturday for another huge March for Our Lives event.
The crowd rallied on the National Mall, where speaker after speaker demanded Congress pass gun control measures.
Among those in attendance were survivors of the 2018 Parkland school shooting. It was that mass shooting that prompted students to create March for Our Lives four years ago.
"If our government can't do anything to stop 19 kids from being killed and slaughtered in their own school and decapitated, it's time to change who is in government," said March for Our Lives co-founder and Parkland survivor David Hogg.
President Joe Biden was in California when the Washington rally began, but he said his message to demonstrators was to "keep marching." On Twitter, the president urged Congress to "do something."
Click here to read more about March for Our Lives protests across the country.
Mayor Adams marches with protesters
"No more silence. End gun violence."
"No more silence. End gun violence," protesters chanted as they marched toward the the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday.
They shouted, wore T-shirts and held signs demanding action against gun violence, CBS2's Dave Carlin reported from Cadman Plaza.
"My kids were the same age as the Sandy Hook kids when Sandy Hook happened. That was probably the worst day of my life. Since then they have been exposed to school shootings on the news and they've had drills in school and I feel it has really affected their childhood and I don't want other children to suffer like that," said Kat Sosnick, a SoHo resident.
"I have a classroom full of kids that I worry about everyday, every day. I teach them the Second Amendment rights, what are rights, how they change, how they're for the times. The kids understand better than our Congress," said Eve Creary, a teacher in New York City.
After marching across the bridge, the group will hear a series of speeches on the gun debate.
President Biden shows support
March for Our Lives organizers to lead protesters across Brooklyn Bridge
March for Our Lives organizers Felix Tager and Angela Malley will lead the crowd across the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday.
"Nineteen thousand and a hundred people have died as of today from gun violence in America this year alone. We are marching for them," Tager told CBS2 on Friday. "We're also marching for effective change."
Saturday's rally is a successor to the 2018 march organized by student protestors after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killed 17 people.
"The entire community was shattered," said Malley, who attended Stoneman Douglas and knew those who died.
"Coach Aaron Feis, he selflessly ran into gunfire. He had no armor, he had no gun, and he ran in there to protect those kids," Malley said. "My history teacher saw several of her students murdered in front of her eyes."
Organizers say now is the time to bring gun control back into the national conversation after the mass shootings at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
"It's devastating. It's totally devastating," Malley said. "It's so hard to see not only the gun violence that happens every single day, people are killed every single day, but to see an entire community shattered the way mine was is just so heartbreaking."
Wednesday, the House passed a gun control bill that would raise the age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21. March organizers said now is the moment to get the Senate to pass it.
Organizers also want universal background checks.
"We fight for an end to gun violence," Tager said.