Demonstrators gather in Greene Square in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to demand changes in gun laws as part of a March For Our Lives event on June 11, 2022. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Iowans took to the streets to demand changes in gun laws in the wake of a number of recent mass shootings.

More than 200 people gathered at Greene Square in downtown Cedar Rapids to listen to speakers and urge elected officials to do more than offer their thoughts and prayers after one of the most recent shootings killed 19 elementary students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, among a string of gun violence nationwide, including in Cedar Rapids.

The June 11 event was among at least 500 March For Our Lives demonstrations in the United States and beyond, noted Tricia Waechter, a member of the Cedar Rapids chapter of Moms Demand Action, which organized the gathering.

She listed the Taboo Nightclub shootings in Cedar Rapids, and the killings at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store among numerous others.

“I think we just can’t live like this anymore,” said Waechter, a nurse who has three children in school. “I don’t want my kids to grow up in a world like this.”

Toys with the names of the students and teachers killed at their elementary school in Uvalde were displayed in Greene Square.

Organizers noted that Iowans will be voting this fall on whether or not to add “Strict Scrutiny” to the Iowa Constitution. The legislation would add the right to own and bear firearms to the state constitution and require “strict scrutiny” for any alleged violation of that right brought before a court.

Voting in favor of the amendment would make passing any common sense gun reform laws in Iowa nearly impossible.

Gun reform advocates listened to several speakers before marching through downtown Cedar Rapids.

See photos from the Black Lives Matter march in Cedar Rapids in 2020 and more from the March For Our Lives event in Greene Square, below: