Demonstrators gather in downtown Nashville to call for gun reform

Posted at 7:08 PM, Jun 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-11 20:08:28-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — With the debate over gun reform taking center stage, protesters took to the streets of Nashville on Saturday.

"As you can hear the people in the background chanting, we're fed up and the time for action is now," said co-organizer of March For Our Lives Nashville, Carson Ferrara. "We're past time, honestly. It was time ten plus years ago."

The student-led movement March For Our Lives took place in downtown Nashville as protests took place across the country. Nashville's event was led by Vanderbilt University students.

Protesters gathered outside the Metro Courthouse. After several speeches, the group began marching up Union Street to the Capitol, where the event continued at Legislative Plaza.

"Our message isn't that we hate all guns, it isn't that we are against the Second Amendment," said Kerissa Bryant, a student at Vanderbilt University. "It's that we want regulations in place to keep school shootings from happening, to keep shootings [from happening] in grocery stores and movies theaters and parks and churches. It's to keep our communities safe."

Speakers took turns at the mic, including Abede DaSilva — his brother Akilah was one of the four victims of the 2018 Waffle House shooting in Antioch.

"We would have never expected this to happen to us," said DaSilva. "So I show people our story so they can see that this could happen to anyone and we're trying to prevent that from happening."

Advocates argued that preventing future tragedies means starting with enacting what they call common sense gun laws.

"To make sure that no one who shouldn't have a firearm doesn't have a firearm," Bryant said.