BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Following demonstrations across the country calling for an end to gun violence, some Baltimoreans are demanding more than just heightened security at schools and universal background checks – they want guns off Baltimore streets.
From the shadow of the U.S. capital to the streets of Baltimore City, voices of the youth echoed across the nation this past weekend, setting the tone like never before. The March for Our Lives rally was organized by students after a gunman walked into a Parkland, Florida, high school last month and killed 17 students and staff.
Protest were held in cities nationwide Saturday as hundreds of thousands of students and parents plead for stricter gun laws, desperate to minimize the possibility of yet another school shooting.
“We want changes in gun laws, safety of students in schools,” parent Donna King said at the rally in Baltimore.
While Mayor Catherine Pugh backs the local youth, major celebrities — such as Jennifer Lopez and Baltimore’s Carmelo Anthony — are right behind her.
In Charm City, the push extends beyond classroom doors.
“Some people in Baltimore, they feel more safe at school than they do in their own neighborhood,” said Poly-Western High School student Anna Hilger, who spearheaded the march in Baltimore.
Baltimore has been ravaged by gunfire for years.
“These students, these parents, all these people, when they’re affected by gun violence, your life is never the same,” Hilger said. “It’s all connected. It’s all one issue at the end of the day.”
Thousands of residents are taking matters into their own hands, not banking on Congress to deliver change.
“They will not save us, we have to save ourselves,” one protester said at the rally in Baltimore.
Gov. Larry Hogan has not been shy about putting more money into schools to up security and cracking down on gun violence.
Local students say they’re in the process of planning another school walkout before the year is over.
Officials say the rally in Washington, D.C. drew more than 300,000 demonstrators.