DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Despite almost 10 inches of snow, around 800 people from all over the bi-state area gathered at Vander Veer Park on Saturday as part of a nationwide rally for gun control called "March for Our Lives."
The march was part of a national movement that branched from Washington, D.C. Its purpose was to stand in solidarity with the survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. More than 800 other marches took place in cities throughout the country.
In the Quad Cities, Saturday, March 24th was a winter-like spring day, accumulating almost 10 inches of snow. Nearly 800 people from the area gathered to take a stand for gun control.
"We’re getting a lot of support from cars driving by," said Lori Morrissey, "and it’s a great turnout despite the crummy weather." Morrissey had made about an hour-long drive Saturday morning to march with her daughter Rachel Finley.
Morrissey said she wanted to see "common sense gun reform."
"It's a ridiculous situation right now, my granddaughters go to school where there's metal detectors to get in which is a good thing," she said, "but I just think if assault rifles weren't so available we wouldn't be in this mess."
Finley said she is pushing for gun reform so that students don't have to be afraid.
"(It) seems like common sense to be safe and not feel like it's a scary place when you go to school."
Students, teachers, and parents led the march, first gearing up the crowd with speeches they had prepared.
"Guess what," said the first speaker. "From here on, kids will be the winners. Not guns." She went on to urge the crowd to use their voices now, and in November use their votes to be heard.
A student speaker followed, noting how many school shootings have plagued the country. "We are not afraid and we will not stay quiet as we see all of these students that could have bee nus, die and become a statistic."
Another speaker was the brother of Demar Bester, who was shot to death in Rock Island back in 2016. He said after his brother passed away, they started a petition that led to installing better lighting and cameras in high-crime areas of Rock Island.
Speaking in terms of the student involvement at the march, "I'm loving just this energy in this generation." He urged their parents and teachers to support them. "They have the opportunity to do something that should have been done a long time ago."
After the speeches, the massive group headed outside and did a full lap around the park, calling for gun reform and a change in political power.
It's been more than two decades since any major gun control legislation was passed. On Friday, March 23rd, the justice department proposed a ban on bump stocks, which are used to increase the rate of fire.