March Against Gun Violence


Julianne Berry-Stoelzle

City students listening to speeches after march.

On March 30, a band of about 40 people, mainly made up of City High students were chanting “not one more” as they marched from College Green Park down to the Pedestrian Mall. This was a march organized by Students Against School Shootings calling for gun reforms.

“The idea of school shootings scare me,” Lizzie Ayers ‘20 said. “I have five younger siblings and they go to three different schools, and I go to City. So, I have four times the probability that if someone decided to shoot up a school in Iowa City that I would be affected by it.”

Ayers was very optimistic about the amount of people that showed up to the march and described the atmosphere as hopeful.

“If five people show up, I still think that it’s successful because it means that not everyone has forgotten about it,” Ayers said. “We are here to make changes, it’s spring and we are ready to get rid of everything and start with new ideas.”

One of the founders of SASS, Eden Knoop ‘18 had not known about this march until she bumped into some of the protesters on their way to the march and decided to join them.

“It was nice, warmer than last year,” Knoop said. “I’ve been away from home for a long time so it was nice to come back home and still be apart of this sort of community.”

Following the march, protesters gathered around a small stage set up in the Pedestrian Mall and listened to a few speeches. One of the speakers was Holly Sanger, one of the leaders of the Moms Demand Action group in Iowa City.

“When [SASS] asked me to talk this year I really welcomed the opportunity because it’s students that are the future. Their lives are at risk, all of our lives are at risk, but they’re also the change,” Sanger said.

Moms Demand Action has worked alongside SASS in the past, most notably in March For Our Lives, which was held last year.

“I am just really internally grateful for students becoming involved and speaking up, saying enough, because it’s turning the tide,” Sanger said.

Knoop also voiced her opinion as well on the topic of the younger generation making change in our society.

“The younger generation will make change and we are the people that will fill out those institutions that have traditionally been so hesitant to make change. Especially

now that we are starting to come into power that’s what we are going to see,” Knoop said.

Theo Prineas ‘18 another founder of SASS was at the march that day.

“There were a lot of cameras here. So I guess, that there more coverage there is, we are going to see more changes in the legislation in Iowa. Ideally, Chuck Grassley or Joni Ernst will see this on the news and realize that their students are riled up about it,” Prineas said.

The younger generation is trying to make change without being able to vote.

“I think with enough enough support, anything can be changed. Obviously, that means good or bad,” Ayers said. “We have to work to get more people on our side.”