Students, community “March For Our Lives” in support of gun control

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Students, community “March For Our Lives” in support of gun control

Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press

Jill Vallance

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People of all ages gathered together at 10 a.m. in Plaza Park with one common thought: they have had enough. On March 24, the March For Our Lives organization, led by survivors of the Parkland shooting, inspired counties across the nation to march against gun violence and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

As cars drove past the march, they honked and waved in encouragement of the advocates, whether that support was for the freedom of speech or gun control itself.

Foothill student Audrey Feist ‘20 said that the atmosphere was “electric.”

”It’s very empowering and exciting,” she said. ”You get a feel from everybody here and everyone that is marching that they are here to stand up for the same reason you are.”

The entire trek up Thompson St. and back down Main St. was filled with passionate chants among the crowd, including phrases such as “hey, hey, ho, ho, the NRA has got to go” and “the people are united, we will never be divided.”

 

 

There was a variety of reasons for people’s attendance of the march, including the desire to encourage civilians to stay informed and vote, to ignite passion in others and to show their support for those affected by gun violence.

“By protesting, we bring attention to [gun control] so that people know that they should go vote and people know the things that [they] should be doing right now,” Foothill student Shaelyn Massey ‘19 said. “Voting is what matters the most, just marching is what’s bringing attention, but what we need to do is to take more action.”

Ventura High School student and march volunteer Duffy Anderson ‘20 said “the more people we can get seeing this, the more people that understand the harm that guns are doing […], the more people we have voting for these rights, the more people we have moving towards change.”

“Everything we do makes a difference,” Anderson said.

 

 

The march came to a close with several student and teacher speakers, including teacher Mark Schmidt and student Sam Coats ‘18, and an appearance by Congresswoman Julia Brownley.

Brownley said that the people participating in these national marches “have created this incredible drum beat across America—a drum beat of persistence, and determination, and assistance, eloquence, energy and courage. They have awoken our country, and you inspire us all.”

To conclude the event, Brownley quoted a student who marched on the Capital in order to reinforce the overarching message of the protest: “the right to own a gun does not outweigh the right to live.”

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