March For Our Lives in Springfield attracts many from across the Ozarks

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SPRINGFIELd, Mo. -- Across the nation students, parents and politicians showed up for March for Our Lives rallies. In the Ozarks, Springfield's Park Central Square is where groups filed to march for one purpose: to demand legislative solutions to the gun violence crisis.

Zoe Hancock, member of the team Organizing Committee and Senior at Central High School, said, "School shootings are horrendous. And from Sandy Hook to Columbine to Margie Stone McDouglas, it's a problem."

The marches and school walkouts on this topic have been lead by students. And Azul Ponce, 15 year old Sophomore at Kickapoo High School came ready with a response to that.

"There were 17 victims of the Parkland shooting. 14 of those were students. Of those, 9 of them were not old enough to get their drivers license. And of those- and of those, 7 weren't of age to get their permit, let alone vote. But they were young enough to see their classmates get shot in school. They were young enough to watch their classmates die, they were young enough to send scared "I love you" texts to their parents. They were young enough to see first hand just how broken our gun system is within America," Ponce said.

And it isn't just students encouraging their peers to get involved either.

Kashia Zumwalt, mother of two boys and a teacher at Willard High School, said, "They're the future. They're part of this movement and they need to be actively involved."

"The future is now!" said Samuel Zumwalt, Kashia Zumwalt's 7th grade son.

"That's right, the future is kids, and we can see it here that they're the ones leading it, and I want them to be involved just like these kids are," Kashia Zumwalt added.

A responsibility that many of these teenagers are taking very seriously.

"Next year I'll be attending Washington University in St. Louis, and I plan on majoring in biology and public health so I can go into medical legislation," Hancock said.

That way places like school can be a safer place for generations to come.

Caitlyn Bernhard, sophomore at Kickapoo High School said, "I cannot believe there are this many people in Springfield that are willing to fight for something this amazing. And I am just so proud that I am going to be able to tell my kids someday that I was here and that I walked out of my school so that they would be safe in their school."

Speakers and participants wanted to stress that this was not an anti-gun rally. This is a movement to bring attention to the need for smarter gun laws so places like schools can be a safer place.