RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On Saturday, dozens of people marched onto the lawn at Halifax Mall on Salisbury Street, demanding stricter gun laws. It was just one March for Our Lives event across the entire country.

Speakers say after mass shootings in Uvalde and even back to Parkland and Columbine, they want to feel safer inside of their schools. People had signs, some reading ‘ban guns not books,’ others saying ‘protect kids not guns,’ all of those people just trying to get their message across.

“I didn’t just figuratively survive high school, I literally made it through alive, and that’s something many Americans can’t say,” one speaker said.

The rally was organized entirely by high school students who are begging for change.

“How do people not see a problem with the fact that 19 students in Uvalde didn’t even graduate elementary school?” an organizer asked the crowd.

Many speakers said the obligation to protect their own lives inside of school has now fallen on teenagers, who are often seen as too young to understand gun law complexities.

“If we are old enough to practice lockdown drills, we are old enough to make change,” one speaker said.

Parents at the rally say they just want a safer future for their kids.

“I think there’s a lot we could be doing to protect our kids and our families, and it’s hard for me to look at these guys in the eyes and tell them we’re doing everything to keep them safe when our country chooses to do anything other than protect guns,” Brian Eichner, who came with his young children, said.

One sign in the crowd reading in a child’s handwriting, ‘If my puppies can’t come to school, why can guns?’ showing that even the youngest generations want change.

“Like no guns,” fifth grader Becca Yaiek-Eichner said.

Organizers say they’re fighting for change now so future generations don’t normalize mass shootings or students dying in schools.

“My generation has been given the nickname ‘the lockdown generation,’ and I swear it ends with us,” a speaker said.

Many students pointed out that they have either recently or will soon turn 18, and they say they’re eager to take their concerns to the ballot box and vote.