Updated May 28, 2022 - 10:11 pm
Clark County School District students led a march along the Strip on Saturday evening to protest gun violence in the wake of the latest mass shooting in the U.S.
On Tuesday, 19 children and two adults were killed in a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
A group of about 100 people gathered Saturday in front of Mandalay Bay, the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The Oct. 1, 2017, shooting resulted in the deaths of 60 people at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
Before the march, student organizers, representatives with Moms Demand Action, Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones and U.S. Rep. Susie Lee spoke.
Many held signs including one that read “Change gun laws or change Congress.” Chants of “Never again!” and “Enough is enough!” rang out in between speakers.
Brenda Zamora brought a case of bottled water and a red cooler filled with ice and sodas for those marching. She wanted to keep everyone hydrated because “that’s the mom in me.”
Two of Zamora’s daughters, ages 7 and 8, attend Fong Elementary School in central Las Vegas.
She learned of Tuesday’s shooting while at work and immediately “broke down crying.” Zamora’s first thought was that she failed in not talking to her kids about the realities of school shootings.
“Then I had to stop myself and be like, ‘no that’s not how it should be,’ ” Zamora said.
Joshua Chau was at the march with his wife and two sons, ages 13 and 11, who attend Webb Middle School in Henderson.
“I want extensive background checks, extensive control and not only in this state but the entire United States,” said Chau, a gun owner.
The group started its march toward the Bellagio at about 7:15 p.m.
Abigail Herrera will be a senior at Clark High School in the fall and was one of the student organizers. Herrera walked behind the group as it made its way down Las Vegas Boulevard.
“It was really important for me to not only advocate for students who are continuing to go to school here but also to advocate for myself because I’m still going to be a student at CCSD, I’m still going to be a student in the United States and I don’t want to go to school with the fear of being gunned down in classrooms,” Herrera said.
When Herrera first heard initial reports that children had been killed Tuesday, she was not shocked.
“It kind of took me a while to realize that these experiences, these events have become so normalized,” Herrera said.
As the protesters took the escalator up to cross the pedestrian bridge at West Tropicana Avenue, they chanted in one voice, “This is what democracy looks like!”
“We should be going to school to learn, not to die,” Herrera said.