Organizers expect thousands at gun-control rallies

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Large rallies with crowds estimated in the tens of thousands in some cases also unfolded in such cities as Boston; New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Houston; Phoenix; Fort Worth, Texas; Minneapolis; and Parkland, Florida, the site of the February 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead.

Hundreds of people turned up just across the road from the US Embassy in Copenhagen today to participate in the March For Our Lives event.

"They don't know what it's like to be 20 feet from an AR-15", Parkland survivor Alfonso Calderon, 16, told students at a Washington charter school this week, referring to USA lawmakers.

Hundreds of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School arrived for the Washington, D.C. march on three flights donated by Delta Air Lines. The classmate also died. She was one of the many who were inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the attack, which left 17 dead.

The White House is applauding "the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights" at gun control marches in Washington and in cities around the nation. The group said in a statement that the state should address mental health and crime instead of gun ownership.

"If nothing changes, we're going to continue to have school shootings", she said.

Students chanted "enough is enough" and held up signs with slogans like "our ballots will stop bullets" at a rally in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in a school shooting last month.

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"People kill people", said Connor Humphrey, 16, of San Luis Obispo, California, who was visiting Washington with his family for spring break.

"I want a future where he's not terrified of going to school, and he is not afraid anytime he goes out into a public place that somebody has a large weapon and can shoot him", Jennings said.

Corin, 17, said preparations for the march have been stressful, but she and the others are excited.

They'll return to Florida with Delta after the march too.

"We're the targets now", Kasky said. "We want every young person to register to vote and head to the polls, no matter who they're voting for or what party they've voting for".

On Friday, Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill that includes modest improvements to background checks for gun sales and grants to help schools prevent gun violence.

"It is our time as youth in the community to make a difference", said Marvell Reed, a 10th-grader at Barack Obama School of Career & Technical Education.

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About two dozen counter-protesters arrived before the start of the rally.

Hannah DeSanto and Jessica Hopkins, both college students, say it was "horrifying" to see another mass shooting after losing their friend. And, a lot of people say OK, but somebody has to take the stand.

"We're asking people (to) put the U.S. over the NRA", he said at the Thursday event in Washington.

"I don't want Donald Trump to be president again", she said.

Parents were also out in force supporting their students.

"I think it's wonderful", Lewis said in an interview with The Associated Press. "But I definitely still do not support arming all the teachers. because I have teachers who can pop off and if they have a gun, I don't know if I'd feel safe with that".

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