After Walking From Worcester, Gun Control Activists Rally In Springfield

Aug 26, 2018

Just before a mass shooting at a video game tournament in Florida, a couple hundred gun control advocates held a rally across the street from gunmaker Smith & Wesson's headquarters in Springfield.

The event capped off a 50-mile march from Worcester.

Holding signs and chanting pro-gun control slogans, demonstrators gathered in a park across the street from Smith & Wesson to demand the company stop manufacturing semiautomatic weapons, and donate $5 million to research on gun violence.

Jack Torres helped organize the march. The 16-year-old Somerville resident said he's optimistic Smith & Wesson will give in to their demands.

“Smith & Wesson now can see an opportunity for them to be a leader in the industry by being a gun manufacturer, and on the side of gun violence prevention,” Torres said. “For a long time people have viewed these two things as mutually exclusive, but they’re not.”

Smith & Wesson has not commented on the activists' demands.

Across the street, 100 demonstrators held a counter-demonstration. They held signs in support of Smith & Wesson and flags reading, "Don't tread on me," as cars drove past, some honking.

Springfield resident Joanne Abel said the Second Amendment is essential to the United States, and should be protected.

“Young people need to know that we have a constitutional right to own firearms, and that we have an absolute duty to stand up for the freedoms in this country, and that’s what I want my grandchildren to know,” Abel said.