Utahns join nationwide March For Our Lives rally

Jun 11, 2022, 6:28 PM | Updated: 6:34 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — It is only one mile from the beginning of the March For Our Lives rally at West High School to the Utah Capitol building. But everyone who was there Saturday hopes the message behind it all is heard 2,100 miles away in Washington, D.C.

“We still have mass shootings. This month has been horrific as we all know,” said Natalie Reese, an organizer of the event.

This group is part of national effort asking for an end to gun violence, and feel new legislation, like age restrictions, could help.

“Eighteen year olds just don’t have the mental capacity,” said James Glaubensklee, who marched Saturday with his family. “Why should an 18-year-old have that gun?”

There may be no one as passionate about this issue as Glaubensklee.

He and his son Kelly marched in this rally back in 2018 after the Parkland, Florida, high school shootings.

This year, Kelly isn’t here. That’s because he was killed by a teenager who shot him at a South Jordan party last year.

“All-American boy — he was the starting middle linebacker at Jordan High, wrestled on the high school team. A lot of his friends are here to show their support for him,” Glaubensklee said.

The teenager who shot his son bought the gun legally.

Glaubensklee said the killer bragged about having the gun on social media before the shooting.

“I don’t want 18 year olds running around with the type of guns with the type of testosterone and out to prove something,” he said.

That’s why he’s here marching, again. Only this time, the message is personal.

This group promises to continue marching to get the attention of lawmakers for what they call common sense gun laws, which includes expanded background checks and mental health evaluations.

“I’ll keep coming back until it’s done,” Reese said. “I have no issue doing this. I don’t mind dedicating some time. This is important, and I want my kids to not be afraid to go inside to school.”

For Glaubensklee, he said it’s not about banning guns.

“No one is coming to take anyone’s guns. That’s what I hear all the time. That isn’t going to happen. It’s never going to happen,” he said. “They’re not going to come and take anyone’s guns. I don’t want my guns taken from me.”

It was only a mile. But for this group, it was so much more.

“If you want to make a change, you need to get out and make sure your voice is heard,” Glaubensklee said.

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Utahns join nationwide March For Our Lives rally