Two marches held in Salt Lake City, for and against gun control
Mar 24, 2018, 4:28 PM | Updated: Mar 27, 2018, 12:46 am
SALT LAKE CITY — It’s not uncommon to see a march, rally, or walk in downtown Salt Lake City, especially on a Saturday morning. But this Saturday morning saw two.
The first march, with all the American flags, firearms, and even a bearcat-tank looking vehicle, certainly got a lot of attention.
“People underestimate how fragile our constitution and our values are,” said Howard Pluim.
Pluim made the drive to Salt Lake City from Ogden to march in this rally because he’s in favor of guns, and like everyone who was a part of this march, he wants to protect the Second Amendment.
“If we allow one to go, who’s to decide where you draw the line on the next one?” he said.
The morning march to the Capitol was in response to the planned “March For Our Lives” rallies being held across the country and in Utah.
These marchers, though, feel the best way to protect kids in school is with guns, maybe even arming teachers, because the bad guys have guns.
“I don’t trust a cop that’s 20 minutes away to come and protect my kids, especially when I know them better than a cop is going to,” said Natalie Poon, who lives in Salt Lake City. “Having the ability to protect yourself, that is amazing.”
Utah Highway Patrol estimates between 800-1,000 people were at the Capitol for this march.
Then, about an hour later, the other march began.
UHP says the second march, the March For Our Lives, had about 8,000 people at the Capitol.
“I want to be able to go to school and feel safe,” said Maggie Donaldson, a senior at Orem High School. “I look around all the time when I’m in the hallways at school because it makes me scared to think someone could have a gun and harm us.”
The March For Our Lives was put together mainly by high school students, to joins others like them marching Saturday across the county, who want to see gun laws changed.
“I’m seeing the start of a movement,” said Isaac Reese, a senior at Brighton High School. “We demand that military grade assault style weapons be kept out of the hands of civilians. We demand that background checks be expanded to close the gun show loophole. We demand that waiting periods be implemented between the purchase and pick up of a gun.”
They, too, started at West High School and marched to the Capitol, cheering and chanting the whole way.
“This is awesome. It’s cool to see there is change and young people are getting involved, and I’m really proud to be a part of this today,” said Hadden Wiese, a student at Utah Valley University.
At the Capitol, students talked about how they’re scared in school and how they feel more guns isn’t the answer.
They want elected representatives to take immediate action to keep schools safe from gun violence and believe with the sheer number of people at the Capitol, change is coming.
“I’m seeing change. I’m thinking this is different. This won’t happen again because people are here to make it happen,” said Reese. “Ask every voting age member of your family who they voted for and why. If they didn’t vote, then why?”