The Memphis Protest to Curb Gun Violence

Mar 25, 2018

Students protest in front of Clayborn Temple.
Credit Savannah Smith, WKNO-FM

About 1,500 people of all ages and backgrounds gathered in Downtown Memphis Saturday morning to stand with victims of recent gun violence.

The event, part of the March for Our Lives movement, was organized by local students who said they were answering a call to action from the survivors of last month's school shooting in Parkland, Florida. 



The march began in front of Clayborn Temple, where students took the stage to explain why they had come. 

One teenage speaker cited some troubling figures, saying, "We march for every victim of gun violence and we march for the 3 million youths exposed to gun violence every year. We will not let divisiveness have its day." 

Debra McMillan hoped that the publicity of the marches would reach the ears of public officials, but especially lawmakers, who have long debated which course of action would best protect children from gun violence.  

"My niece was in the second shooting after Columbine, in Heath Kentucky," McMillan said. "She’s 26 now, nothing's been done." 

Credit Savannah Smith, WKNO-FM

The march ended in front of the National Civil Rights Museum. Counselors were stationed throughout the crowd to support those emotionally affected by recent events.   

Kathy Dice was hopeful that the young adults who planned the march would inspire change in gun control policy.  

"I think older generations like myself have gotten complacent, have become tired and have become a little bit jaded," Dice said. "The benefit of being 16, is that you are not old enough to be jaded, yet. And, they’re not taking all the old answers at face value. They’re saying no this is stupid; we’re gonna do it a different way." 

In addition to this protest, Shelby County School students are planning school walkouts on April 20. They were on spring break when a national walkout was held on March 14.