Photos and words by Becca Jonas

On March 24, over 5,000 people gathered at Theis Park in downtown Kansas City as part of the national March For Our Lives movement. Discussion surrounding gun control laws explodes after a mass shooting occurs, but legislative change hardly seems to follow. However, after 17 student lives were taken in the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting this February, cries for action have grown louder and more motivated, sparking the nationwide push for change.

Emotions ran high as speakers of all ages and backgrounds took center stage to advocate for what many view as “common sense” gun control laws. Individuals sang, danced, and performed poetry all with one unifying message:

Enough.

The crowd listens to Mayor Sly James praise the efforts of the student organizers and encourage rally-goers to get the polls and vote. Kansas City was one of over 800 cities around the country that participated in the nationwide March For Our Lives movement.
A mother is moved to tears as she stands with her child listening to a poetry piece performed by two high school students.
Rally organizers scattered posters around the park asking people to write down why they are marching. A young girl adds her reason, writing, “Guns don’t have a purpose.”
A woman and child both flash their signs encouraging citizens and lawmakers to protect children over the right to own weapons used in mass shootings.
A woman and child both flash their signs encouraging citizens and lawmakers to protect children over the right to own weapons used in mass shootings.
A student walks with a sign reading “Am I Next?” in reference to the school shootings that continue to happen in the United States.
A young boy holds a sign reading: “IF THIS DOESN’T STOP I’M NEXT.”
A man sports a t-shirt with the death toll of three of the worst mass shootings in the United States. Below the tallies, the shirt reads: “BUT THANKS FOR THE THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.”

Speaking Up

Click to listen to why people came to participate in the movement.

At 3 p.m. thousands marched down Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard chanting, hoisting signs, and standing in unison to push for legislative change in gun control laws. And while this rally itself has ended, the movement behind these youthful, passionate voices has just begun.