Led by students, the "March for our Lives" effort made its way across the nation and here in Illinois over the weekend. Hundreds of people gathered outside the state capitol building in Springfield on Saturday before marching downtown.
It was a frigid, windy and rainy day as students made their way to the Lincoln statue to sing and share their voices. The effort was in support of the students from Parkland, Florida who have been pushing the issue of gun violence after 17 of their peers and school staff were shot dead last month. A small group of counter-protesters was on hand. Chuck Pine is a veteran who lives near Jacksonville and said he was there "to support the second amendment." Pine said, "Law abiding citizens are not the problem, it's the crooks - it's the mental breakdown(s)."
Regardless of the bad weather - hundreds arrived to show support for the main cause, urging lawmakers to pass stricter gun laws. Organizer and activist Claire Farnsworth is a Chatham Glenwood High School senior. She told the crowd she's aware some see her in a negative light. "Nothing gets us more ostracized than when we look adults in the eyes and tell them that mass shootings like Columbine, Sandy Hook, Pulse Night Club, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School could have been prevented," Farnsworth said. "Our citizens are dying and they decided that their guns are more important than the lives of our people." Farnsworth and others said the government has failed to address gun issues sensibly.