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Atlanta March For Our Lives rally pushes for more legislative action

One of the organizers, Olivia Schramkowski says the march is about more than the recent string of mass shootings.

ATLANTA — Sarah Dowling clearly remembers the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the impression the shooting left on her. 

It prompted her to get involved with March For Our Lives, the organization sprang to life in the wake of the shooting and was created by its survivors. As she addressed the crowd that gathered at Woodruff Park in Atlanta, Dowling listed the notable shootings that had taken place over the last four years. 

These shootings led to another series of marches that were similar to those held four years ago. 

"Here we are again today after Tree of Life, after the Atlanta SPA shootings last spring. After Boulder, after Oxford, after Buffalo," she said Saturday afternoon. 

Dowing and fellow organizer Oliva Schramkowski graduated high school only a few weeks prior. Both expressed concern that their adolescence has been marked by an increasing number of mass shootings and deaths of people of color in instances that involved guns. 

"Why do we as a country, as a culture, care more about firearms? Pieces of metal and plastic than we do about living, breathing, flesh and blood neighbors?," she said. 

The rally was also attended by Georgia lawmakers. State Senator Jen Jordan discussed her plans to address school safety. Congresswomen Nakima Williams and Lucy McBath discussed their plans to enact legislation that would limit access to military-style weapons. 

One of the main purposes of the march was to push for the repeal of the Georgia Constitutional Carry Act that was signed by Governor Kemp earlier this year. Schramkowski previously told 11Alive that the Georgia chapter of March For Our Lives wanted to build ties with pro-gun advocates to come to a consensus about gun safety. 

The rally in Woodruff Park was attended by students, teachers and community advocates. Many pushed for those in attendance to vote in the upcoming election. 

One of them was Jackie Stewart who told 11Alive that any elected official who didn't take steps towards what she viewed as necessary gun reform should not b reelected.

"I don't care if they're Democrats. I don't care if the Republicans are independent, black, white, green, yellow, if they're not for gun safety, vote all of them out," she said.

A similar message was communicated by other speakers. The consistent push ta address lawmakers remained consistent.

Dowling says she hopes to have a day when these marches are no longer necessary. 

"Promises for a better future are empty and meaningless until legislation is passed. Funding is allocated and societal systems are restructured," she said.

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