LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Activists gathered in downtown Los Angeles Saturday, demanding action from lawmakers as part of a nationwide anti-violence campaign following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton this month.
At City Hall, dozens gathered for “Students Against Gun Violence” – one of more than 100 of anti-violence rallies held across the U.S. Not all attendees were students; but all had a similar message.READ MORE: At Least One Killed, 51 Unaccounted For After Multi-Story Building Partially Collapses In South Florida
“I think a lot of people feel really helpless so this is a way of doing something,” attendee Amanda Gish explained.
What do they want from lawmakers?
“Stricter gun laws and try to prevent gun violence,” Jose Gonzalez said.
“Get background checks — that’s a start — and get stricter gun laws for sure,” Madi Keller added.
“I don’t think you have the right to have an automatic weapon. Absolutely not,” Gish said.READ MORE: Former VP Mike Pence Comes To Simi Valley For Reagan Library's 'Time For Choosing' Speaker Series
“I’m tired of Congress not doing its job,” said attendee Mary Holm.
Just 40 miles away, in Costa Mesa, a well-attended gun show was underway. There, the NRA offered free admission in exchange for their membership; and the sentiment was much different.
“The problem is not guns. Guns don’t pull the trigger,” said one guns rights activist.
“Carrying a weapon to defend you and your loved ones is probably about the best thing we could do at this point in time,” said another man. ” … Considering all the mass shootings that are going on.”
“All weapons need to be regulated and monitored carefully but I think we have the right to bear arms — all kinds of arms,” said another attendee.MORE NEWS: Coronado High Basketball Coach JD Laaperi Fired Over Tortilla-Throwing Incident
The Senate is scheduled to go back in session in three weeks.