Hundreds in Toronto rally in support of gun control
Torontonian teenagers got the chance to join their American peers in protesting gun violence this weekend during one of roughly 800 international 'March for Our Lives' support rallies.
Inspired by last month's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where a lone gunman killed 17 people with an AR-15-style assault rifle, Saturday's widespread protests coincided with one main, massive, student-organized gathering in Washington, D.C.
Toronto was one of 12 Canadian cities to host an anti-gun rally in support of the larger movement, which aims to pressure the U.S. government to enhance gun control measures before more kids get killed (despite the country's long and tragic history of failing to do so.)
Hundreds of locals gathered at Nathan Philips Square on Saturday morning to show their support for our neighbours to the south.
The group then marched to Queen's Park while chanting and carrying signs with messages like "Books not bullets..."
"Now is the time to change gun laws, morons"
"Even Canada calls B.S.!"
And "Guess who's voting this year?" – which makes less sense, given the location of this particular protest... but you get the idea.
The rally itself was held in support of those fighting in the U.S., but as many who attended were told, gun problems aren't uniquely American.
"It's not just America's problem," said 15-year-old Riverdale Collegiate Institute student Colin Monahan during the rally. "We need a long gun registry, we need extended wait times (to purchase a gun) and better background checks."
Also present were people like Evelyn Fox, whose 26-year-old son Kiesingar Gunn was shot dead outside a Liberty Village nightclub in 2016, and Scarborough's Louis March, who founded the Zero Gun Violence Movement in Toronto.
A 7-year-old boy also took the mic at one point during the rally to talk about the impact of losing a family member to gun violence.
His father was shot and killed two years ago in Toronto.
A total of 75 people have been shot in the city this year so far, according to Toronto Police Service statistics – 10 of them fatally so.
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