Local organizers of March For Our Lives Rally hold town hall to - KMOV.com

Local organizers of March For Our Lives Rally hold town hall to discuss gun control

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Attendees arrived at a town hall in Kirkwood to discuss gun reform Saturday (Credit: KMOV) Attendees arrived at a town hall in Kirkwood to discuss gun reform Saturday (Credit: KMOV)
KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A group of St. Louis students behind the local March for Our Lives rally last month held a gun reform town hall meeting on Saturday.

A crowd filled the sanctuary at Kirkwood Baptist Church to hear from the group of student organizers and a panel of local politicians, law enforcement representatives and others who participated in a discussion regarding gun laws and gun violence.

The group joined other cities who aimed to spark discussion about gun reform.

“It really is just the first step,” said Lauren Malloy, one of the students who organized the event, “the first step is to show up, but then you have to continue with this activism and you have to go vote.”

Malloy says she’s always been interested in getting involved in politics, but she thought that she'd have to wait until college before getting a start.

It wasn’t until seeing the group of survivors from the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida fighting for stricter gun laws that she realized she could start now.

“We’re making a difference without these jobs,” she said, “we’re making a difference without our degrees and I can’t even vote yet and I like to think I’m making somewhat of a difference.”

Malloy is quick to point out their discussion isn’t about taking away the 2nd Amendment, or the right to bear arms.

"Everything we are suggesting is in line with the second amendment," she said.

The group invited several state and local lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum to join the discussion.

“We’ve grown up with school shooting drills,” she said, “we’ve grown up seeing mass shootings on the news and we’ve also grown up in a city that’s plagued with gun violence.”

A staff member attended on behalf of Sen. Claire McCaskill a Democrat, but the group made an obvious note of the lawmakers who declined to send anyone by setting out cardboard cut-outs of Sen. Roy Blunt and Rep. Anne Wagner, both Republicans.

“Hopefully they can realize that it’s not going to work for them to keep ignoring us,” she said.

Grant Crocker also hopes they’re listening.

“I hope they see it maybe they’ll watch it on Facebook or something,” he said.

He flew to Washington, D.C. to join the nationwide March For Our Lives rally.

“I feel like this is a wake up for us to say we want change,” he said.

Malloy plans to hold more discussions and continue the group’s efforts even after she heads off to college.

“Until we get actual legislative change,” she said, “and less people are dying.”

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