Thousands of students, staff and supporters have flocked to the nation's capitol calling for stricter gun laws at the "March For Our Lives" rally. It's one of dozens of rallies taking place across the United States today.
Jasmine, a 17-year-old student lived through a recent mass shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland, says she believes this rally is the tipping point for concrete changes in gun laws.
"I think we have the power because all these people are here today, and we've obviously made commotion, and they let us come here to voice our opinion."
Organizers of the rally say they're calling for a ban on assault-style weapons and closing loopholes on background checks.
The rally was conceived after the Feb 14th. shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 students and staff members dead. Students will give give speeches and deliver performances during the three hour event near the capitol building that kicks off at noon.
When it comes to changing gun laws, Jasmine says her generation is motivated.
"People are listening now. People can feel like, how we feel now. And I think we should continue, because we are the future and I think we can do something to change it."
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh says she's making the trip with a group of students to call attention to gun violence on streets and in schools.
"The reason we're going to Washington D.C. is not just because of the violence that's occurring across this country, over 300 shootings in schools in this nation. But 343 people died in our city last year because we have too many illegal guns," Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said.
Baltimore was named as "the deadliest big city in the country" by USA Today after a deadly 2017 that included 342 homicides in the city. That was a 17 percent increase over the prior year and enough to translate into the highest per-capita murder rate in the country.
Rallies in cities across the nation have also been scheduled, including one local "March For Our Lives" event in Parkland, Florida. About 25,000 students, parents, and teachers have come together in Parkland to push for stricter gun laws and honor the 17 people killed last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
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