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Competing rallies expected Saturday in Boise as conversations on guns, mass shootings continue

March for our Lives Idaho has an event planned to discuss guns and gun safety. At least one counter protest is planned, advocating for the Second Amendment.

BOISE, Idaho — Center stage on Saturday in Boise, competing rallies at the Idaho State Capitol. March for our Lives Idaho is taking to the statehouse steps to demand action from lawmakers in response to continued mass shooting across America.  

“It's really important to have some sort of action item or multiple action items that people can take right then and there to make action and start making change on what change we're calling for,” State Co-Director of March for our Lives Idaho, Amaia Clayton said.

In organizing the event, Clayton said they have found clear misconceptions about what change they are calling for. Some groups claim the March for our Lives group is looking to ban guns or repeal the Second Amendment with a collection of radical changes.

“No, that's absolutely not what we're about. We believe and value the Second Amendment and we value Idaho's hunting culture. We recognize how important it is and we recognize the importance of having a gun," Clayton said. "So, what we're really calling for at the end of the day is safe and responsible gun ownership. We don't want to take your gun away. We just want you to be able to have it safely, to be responsible with it and ensure people who shouldn't have guns, shouldn't have them and people who should and are able to have guns, are able to have them safely."

Clayton said it is frustrating to see the counter event planned.

“It's kind of amazing to me how these adults are going to show up to a march that, we as high school students have planned, with their firearms and it just seems kind of odd to me that we're just standing here, saying that we don't want to get shot and that we need to see something happen, so that we don't have to be afraid to go to school," Clayton said. "Adults are just like, 'okay, we're going to bring our guns and stand there.'”

According to Clayton, a goal of March for our Lives Idaho is to work with gun owners on ideas to make everyone safer. Clayton said info being put out on Facebook by counter groups misses their entire point.

“A lot of the commentary that they were putting out is, 'those are the ones who want to take away our guns. There's a group who wants to repeal the Second Amendment and they're protesting, so you need to show up.' There was nothing about the fact that we're just high school students. There was nothing about the fact that all of that is wrong. We don't want to take away your gun. We don't want to repeal that amendment," Clayton said. "This is frustrating, because the way we see it, we want to work with gun owners. We don't want to work against you, don't want to be the enemy. We want to work together so that everyone can be safe with guns."

March for our Lives Idaho understands the public exchange of ideas is part of our American system. Still, they have a goal to make changes to promote safety.

“What can you do? Everybody has free speech. Everybody has their opportunity to show their opinion,” Clayton said.  

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