Thousands protest gun violence at student-led demonstrations across Michigan

Mar 24, 2018

Marches for stricter gun laws happened all across Michigan and the U.S. today.

Thousands of people gathered in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, and several other Michigan cities.

In Lansing, about 2,000 people walked from the Hall of Justice to the State Capitol, carrying signs and chanting.

Marissa Thaler walked in the March for Our Lives with her family.
Credit Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Kayden Moore is a 6th grader in Jackson. He loves math and science. And he’s had to do active shooter drills at his school.

“It’s kind of scary ‘cause sometimes you don’t know if it’s happening or not," he said. "Sometimes they tell you if it’s a practice, but sometimes they don’t.”

Once at the Capitol, lawmakers, candidates, and students spoke. They called for safer schools through measures like banning assault rifles and stricter background checks.

How free are we we’re too afraid to go to the mall, to go to the movie theater, to go to school? How are we free if we’re too scared to live?” the Lansing event's organizer, Cydney Jenkins, told a cheering crowd. Jenkins is a student at North Farmington High School.           

In February, a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida claimed 17 lives. Since then there’s been an increase in threats reported at schools across Michigan. Police say they’re taking every threat seriously.

“The other day a door got slammed, and my first thought was a gunshot," said march participant Marissa Thaler, an elementary school art teacher in Waverly – near Lansing. "And then my second thought was, I can’t believe my first thought was gunshot.”