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Buffalo's March For Our Lives event passes by Tops mass shooting site

The crowd's chant of "not one more" filled the air during the procession down Jefferson Avenue. Hundreds gathered for the local event tied to the national march.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Washington was the hub for the for the March For Our Lives event against gun violence, which was started by survivors of the Parkland School shooting in Florida in 2018. 

Here in Buffalo, a local version of that march passed by the now infamous site of the May 14 shooting. 2 On Your Side Photojournalist Jerry Gasser provided the pictures and words of those taking part.  

All backgrounds. All ages. All united. To make their case for meaningful change when it comes to gun violence and the deadly spasms it has inflicted on this country and its people.

The crowd's chant of "not one more" filled the air during the procession down Jefferson Avenue, and they want nothing less than to get their ultimate message to lawmakers and law enforcement and judges with this probing question beyond the headlines.

Deidra EmEl, executive director of the Western New York Peace Center, asked "Why is there gun violence? What is the root issue? What is the root cause of it? Because that's the only way we can see it change. That's the only way we can see it change. We got legislation but it has to be enforced. That's a whole other story. That's a whole other march of enforcement of legislation."

One of the survivors, Fragrance Harris Stanfield, who is a Tops employee who was in the store at the time, is still somewhat shaken. But also, she is resilient and comforted by the support she saw on Saturday as she told the marchers

"Thank you for showing that you're willing to be active, and to let you know that we will be with you if you are with us through this whole thing. It's not over. There is so much work to be done," Stanfield said.

Also with a hope for healing after that change, Dr. Philip Glick, a prominent surgeon with the UBMD practice, took part.

"We're all Buffalonians, and what happened was an injustice, and we need to get this to stop," Dr. Glick said. "We need to work on gun rights legislation. We need to work on red flag legislation, and we need to be better human beings. And as a faculty member of UB, I want to prove to our neighbors that we care."

Then a final takeaway, that no one involved here is going away and giving up anytime soon, came from Buffalo residents Evelyn Williams and Camilla Lee. They said about the march, "It was unified, because even though this has been going on for a long time, it's time for our voices to be heard and take action."

They added this point about the shooting: "It touched home because for a lot of people, it was people that we knew."

Williams and Lee finally noted: "If we keep our voices and let them be heard, something can be done, and I'm sure it will be. We have to keep the momentum up, definitely."

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