Rallies planned by Iowa organizations to speak out on gun violence are quickly attracting attention and interest. A “March For Our Lives” rally will be held in conjunction with national marches on March 24 in Des Moines at the Capitol, organized by Progress Iowa (the Facebook event page is here). Well over 2,000 have expressed interest in attending after just one day of the event’s creation. A similar rally and march is also planned in Waterloo on that day by Americans for Democratic Action (Facebook event here).
Junior high and high school students in Iowa City yesterday held an impromptu walk-out from their classes to march and rally downtown in support of stricter gun laws. Around 300 students took to the streets with homemade signs, gave speeches and pleaded for their elected officials to finally take gun violence seriously and implement new laws.
— Zach Wahls (@ZachWahls) February 19, 2018
A group of high school students in the Cedar Falls area will visit Congressman Rod Blum’s local office there this Friday at 10:00 a.m. to call on Blum to support new legislation.
While there is outrage and activism after every mass shooting in America, the reaction to Stoneman Douglas has felt different. Impassioned pleas by the high school students who survived the massacre have been shared widely on social media and national news outlets. Mass walk-outs have been discussed at schools around the country and in Iowa.
The new urgency has not seemed to made it through to Governor Kim Reynolds, yet. At a press conference yesterday, she ducked responsibility for what gun laws might need to be changed in Iowa. She called the state’s current ones adequate and pushed the impetus to act on to federal lawmakers and society in general.
Iowans who have something to say about that will have plenty of opportunity to do so in a unified manner at the upcoming rallies. Unfortunately, by the time March 24 comes around, there will likely have been one or two other mass shootings in the country that attendees will be mourning.
by Pat Rynard
Photo via event page