Protesters in Lincoln join national call to end gun violence

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Washington and many other cities across the country as part of the 'March for Our Lives' rallies protesting gun violence and calling for stricter gun laws.

Demonstrators also gathered in cities across the world, including London and Paris, to share in the same message. People also gathered in cities across Nebraska, including Omaha and Hastings, Saturday afternoon.

In Lincoln, about 1,000 people gathered at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Union beginning at about 1 p.m.

The crowd marched down Centennial Mall to the Capitol at 2 p.m., where a rally was scheduled for 3 p.m.

"This issue of gun violence is really important to me, especially as a student, I think it's imperative students start telling their legislators what they want done instead of sitting back on the sidelines," said Isabel Bousson, a student at Lincoln East High School.

Busson was one of the lead organizers for the rally.

People held signs calling for an end to gun violence and others for stricter gun laws. Some read, "Enough is enough," "Never again," "Guns kill kids," and "Students demand action."

"The fact that people are standing up to this also shows a lot about us as a country," Bousson said. "We're changing as a society and the world is changing as a society and I think that it's important that our laws stay up to date with how we are as human beings."

Change was the message of the day Saturday, as more than 800 rallies were scheduled across the U.S. and the world, calling for an end to gun violence.

While some demand bans, others are encouraging lawmakers to at least make it more difficult for people to get their hands on weapons.

"I think that it's time, I think the NRA has had too strong of a voice and it's time for people to have a voice now," said Carol Myers, a Lincoln resident and mother of three.

Myers said her son Matthew took his own life with a handgun that he purchased the same day, and said she believes a waiting period would be beneficial.

Others are calling for much stricter background checks and just this week, Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson introduced a bill to give federal aid to states that pass so-called 'red flag' laws, just like Florida recently did.

Red flag laws allow families a way to go to a judge, prove that a person is dangerous and then through a court order - take away their guns. This comes after officials said the Parkland, Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz, had several 'red flags' but was still able to legally purchase the AR-15 rifle he used in the school shooting.

"It really makes me sad that kids have to be scared in school that something is going to happen to them and they could die, that's not how school should be," said Mya Miller, a student at Lincoln East High School.

Nancy Carlisle, a Lincoln resident, added, "The thing that's so beautiful about this movement right now, it almost brings me to tears, is that our hope is in the young people and that they're totally serious about this movement and it's not going to go away."