HOUSTON – Groups gathered near Houston City Hall to continue the discussion of gun violence prevention.
Activists with the “March for Our Lives” advocacy group rallied at the steps of City Hall to call for an end to gun violence. The group "Open Carry Texas" organized across the street at Tranquility Park in a counterprotest, calling for teachers to be armed to self-defense.
March For Our Lives activist and Parkland High School shooting survivor, Emma Gonzalez, spoke to the crowd about gun violence prevention and legislation like red-flag laws.
“It can’t be acceptable for a student to be shot on the street or movie theater or school or place of worship or anywhere," Gonzalez said.
Others who took the podium said the movement is personal for them as well. Bree Butler survived the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School and said that she will always struggle with the tragedy.
“I felt the weight of May 18 when I came to the realization that my last memories of high school were ones of fleeing, fear and bloodshed."
Members of Open Carry Texas gathered together for a counterprotest at Tranquility Park. The group believes that there should be tighter security in schools and teachers should be armed with self-defense or weapons if they are trained and willing.
“We need to provide safety for students without trampling on the Second Amendment, which can be done," David Trives said.
“All I hear from them is common sense, common sense legislation," said David Amad with Open Carry Texas. “If you are being attacked you have to be able to fight back."
Both sides gathered for approximately three hours and some even crossed the street to speak face to face about the issues.
“Surprisingly, through these conversations, you learn that you might not disagree with them as much as you thought you would," Gonzalez said.