A pro-gun group from Utah traveled to Chicago this week to participate in a “March For Our Lives” rally against gun violence to support “peace and safer schools but stand strong on defending the Second Amendment.”
Members of the Utah Gun Exchange documented their trip to Chicago on Facebook as they joined marchers at Friday’s South Side Peace March that promoted taking action against gun violence.
“We’re out here to protect and preserve our constitution and our constitutional rights,” co-founder Bryan Melchior said on Facebook.
Cameron Kasky, a Parkland shooting survivor who attended the march, posted a picture on Twitter with a caption accusing the gun group of “counter-protesting peace.”
“So somebody brought a buy/sell/trade tank to the PEACE march… yikes, guys. People are counter-protesting peace.”
So somebody brought a buy/sell/trade tank to the PEACE march… yikes, guys. People are counter-protesting peace. #ChiStrong #MarchForOurLives #RoadToChange
Follow @Trevonbosley1 pic.twitter.com/zRoXdFrZ6l
— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) June 15, 2018
Local media station KUER reported that the group clashed with a Salt Lake City-based chapter of the March for Our Lives in March when it attempted to counter-protest the chapter’s march against gun violence following the shooting in Parkland that killed 17 people.
“On March 24th they came to Utah and excluded us. We will now be joining them in Chicago as part of our Freedom Tour and working to keep the March actually about peace and not an anti-gun movement,” the group wrote in a Facebook post at the time.
Saturday’s rally marked the first stop on the March for Our Lives’s “Road to Change” national tour to encourage young people to register to vote. The tour, led by students and survivors of February’s shooting in Parkland, Florida, has more than 50 stops scheduled across the U.S.
Hundreds of rallygoers gathered on Chicago’s South Side at St. Sabina’s Catholic Church for a rally that included celebrity appearances from Chance the Rapper, Jennifer Hudson and Will.i.am, among others.