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Young Voices Nationwide March To Turn Gun Violence Protests Into Political Movement

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Sarah McCammon in for Michel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS #1: (Shouting) Enough is enough. Enough is enough. Enough is enough.

MCCAMMON: We're going to start the program today with sound from marches that took place across the country protesting gun violence. First to Pittsburgh, where Julia Gaetano is a high school junior.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JULIA GAETANO: We are a generation raised by grief and guns. We are a generation that they try to herd into complacency by using the lie that there is nothing that can be done.

(CHEERING)

MCCAMMON: Across the country today, other students said they want to turn their protests into a political movement.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KAITLIN SLAGTER: I can't vote yet, but in three months, I will be turning 18.

ABBY GETZ: I'm 18. I can vote.

SLAGTER: Young people can vote.

MAKENA THATCHER: I feel like if we make enough noise to upset Congress enough, something will happen.

MCCAMMON: That was Kaitlin Slagter of Sammamish, Wash., Abby Getz of Salt Lake City, Utah and Makena Thatcher of Mukilteo, Wash. Teachers march too, like Justin Williams in Wichita, Kan. He's a middle school English teacher, and he owns guns, but he says there's no place for them in the classroom.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JUSTIN WILLIAMS: I don't want to carry a gun in school. I have no desire to do that. I'm there to teach, and I don't want to have to think about it.

MCCAMMON: And there were counterdemonstrations. In Helena, Mont., protesters gathered at the March for our Guns. Here's Joe Chester.

JOE CHESTER: I believe that self-defense is a God given right, so I believe that our Second Amendment is a God-given right. And I don't want to see that infringed upon for law-abiding citizens. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.